Conversations in Diplomacy: Nirupama Rao

Feb. 27, 2012 Series: Conversations in Diplomacy


In a conversation with Future of Diplomacy Executive Director, Cathryn Clüver, Nirupama Rao, the current Indian Ambassador to the United States explained why India had not rapidly followed suit with other parts of the international community in a call for sanctions against Iran.  She said: “India really is defined by diversity. Our domestic needs are not only defined by the need to balance this diversity, but [also] to deliver the development needs of our people.”

She noted that India’s place in the international community had made immediate disengagement impossible. India is a developing economy that imports over 70% of its petroleum consumption “from diverse sources.” Rao also argued that Iran remained a necessary transit point for Afghanistan, where India maintained “strong development-related commitments to the Afghan people.” Yet even so, Rao said that the Indian government had worked with the international community to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear program, noting that “the proportion of what [Indians] import from Iran is steadily declining, and at the moment is less than 10% of our energy requirements.”

Ambassador Rao also shared her impressions of the Indo-US relationship and the Obama administration’s planned “pivot to Asia.”

Nirupama Rao has served as Indian Ambassador to Peru and China, and as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. Prior to these assignments, she served as Foreign Secretary of India, where she was the second woman ever to hold this position.

To watch the full video, click on the Youtube link above.

Conversations in Diplomacy is the Future of Diplomacy Project's Podcast Series. The podcasts bring together policymakers, academics, and professionals from around the world of international relations for candid discussions of pressing topics in world affairs.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Conversations in Diplomacy: Nirupama Rao.” News, , February 27, 2012.