Using observational and reanalyses data, we investigated the impact of dust aerosols over the Middle East and the Arabian Sea (AS) on the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) rainfall. Satellite and aerosol reanalysis data show extremely heavy aerosol loading, mainly mineral dust, over the Middle East and AS during the ISM season. Multivariate empirical orthogonal function analyses suggest an aerosol-monsoon connection. This connection may be attributed to dust-induced atmospheric heating centered over the Iranian Plateau (IP), which enhances the meridional thermal contrast and strengthens the ISM circulation and rainfall. The enhanced circulation further transports more dust to the AS and IP, heating the atmosphere (positive feedback). The aerosols over the AS and the Arabian Peninsula have a significant correlation with rainfall over central and eastern India about 2 weeks later. This finding highlights the nonlocal radiative effect of dust on the ISM circulation and rainfall and may improve ISM rainfall forecasts. © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.