The United States is facing some interesting diplomatic choices in South Asia. Washington is no doubt cheered by Turkmenistan’s recent commitment to ship natural gas via Afghanistan to India and Pakistan. But if Washington is to fulfill its wish of developing stronger ties between Central and South Asia, US policymakers will have to find a way around two stumbling blocks, Iran and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The central problem for the United States is this: Washington is determined to keep the pressure on Iran in the hopes of thwarting Tehran’s nuclear program; at the same time, the Iranian containment policy, as currently constructed, could hinder efforts to promote stabilization in Afghanistan.
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Tridivesh Singh Maini is an Associate Fellow with The Observer Research Foundation. The views expressed in this commentary of Maini's own, and do not necessarily represent the foundation's position.