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Adib-Moghaddam, Arshin (2015) 'India in the Iranian imagination: Between Culture and Strategic Interest.' In: Sullivan, Kate, (ed.), Competing Visions of India in World Politics India’s Rise Beyond the West. Houndsmills; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 145-159.

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In the course of building a modern nation-state, a project that was given impetus by the Safavid dynasty in the sixteenth century, the political classes governing Iran have developed a civilisational discourse and a historical imagination that casts tall shadows on the international affairs of the country. India has a prominent place in this self-perception. The confines of this chapter do not allow me to present an exhaustive history of the ways in which India has figured in the Iranian worldview. Nonetheless, it is possible to sketch some central nodal points holding the Indo-Iranian narrative together in order to gauge, in a second step, the contemporary position of India in Iran’s ‘national’ imagination. To that end, this chapter begins by drawing the contours of what I call an ‘Indo-Iranian dialectic’ through a survey of cultural exchanges since the sixteenth century and their impact on religion, architecture, literature and politics. This Indo-Iranian dialectic can be conceptualised as a historical imaginary that impinges on the mutual perception of both countries and which has made it that much more difficult to confine or limit their relations, one of the central aims of successive US administrations and the state of Israel, especially in recent years. In a concomitant step, it will be shown that Indo-Iranian relations are also shaped by material interests through an analysis of the economic ties between the two countries which Tehran and Delhi deem pivotal.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Politics and International Studies
ISBN: 9781137398659
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2016 06:54

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