DELHI // The three main hinges of India’s ties with the US are China, Pakistan and Iran.
For years, any signs of closer ties between Washington and Beijing or Islamabad – two long-time Indian rivals – have been greeted in New Delhi with something approximating an anxiety attack.
Now add Iran to the list of hot buttons. India is heavily dependent on crude oil from Iran, and any US-led military action against Tehran could sever its fuel supplies.
The election of Mr Romney would be unlikely to bring about drastic changes from the previous administration’s policies, but India would prefer the continuity that Barack Obama’s re-election would bring, said Nitin Pai, a geopolitics fellow at the Takshashila Institution, a Chennai-based think tank.
“What India does not want: a US-China G-2, US support of Pakistan’s claims against India and a war against Iran,” he said.
Economic ties between the US and India are likely to strengthen under either Mr Obama or Mr Romney. India’s recent decision to open up its retail sector to foreign investment will bring large US corporations, such as Wal-Mart, into the country. And the US will push for similar reforms in other sectors, to help boost its own economy.