U.S. Exempts Iran's Chabahar Port From Sanctions In Nod To Afghanistan

07 November, 2018, 23:50 | Author: Regina Silva
  • U.S. Exempts Iran's Chabahar Port From Sanctions In Nod To Afghanistan

"This exception relates to reconstruction assistance and economic development for Afghanistan", he said.

Representatives of India, Afghanistan and Iran met a little more than two weeks ago in New Delhi, despite looming USA sanctions, to discuss operationalization of the port, which is seen as key to connect India and Afghanistan to Iran and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan.

The US on Monday imposed "the toughest ever" sanctions on a defiant Iran aimed at altering the Iranian regime's "behaviour".

In addition, Afghanistan will be allowed to continue importing Iranian petroleum products, the spokesman said. "These activities are vital for the ongoing support of Afghanistan's growth and humanitarian relief", said the US State Department Spokesperson.

The US announced on Tuesday it has provided for an "exception" from certain sanctions - an exemption, in other words - to the Iranian port of Chabahar that India has developed and used for reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

In a major development, India has managed to keep Iran's Chabahar Port project outside the purview of the sanctions reimposed by the Trump administration on November 5.

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A convinced U.S. administration told India Today, "The President's South Asia strategy underscores our ongoing support of Afghanistan's economic growth and development as well as our close partnership with India".

The foreign minister further stated that while previous US Presidents have also displayed "disrespectful attitudes" towards Iran, they have eventually changed their stance, and said the Trump administration will have to do the same.

India, Smith argued, "made a convincing case" that its principal interest in the port was to develop alternative infrastructure links to Afghanistan that bypass Pakistan, which also serves the United States national security interests.

"Combined with the importance, this administration places on developing good ties with India, there was a compelling geopolitical case to be made for a waiver", he said.

Asserting that the US' "desperation" was highlighted in their move to include closed companies in the sanctions, Zarif said that the anti-Iran move was mostly criticised and opposed by the worldwide community and that only a handful of nations like Israel and others supported the move. It sees the Chabahar port as a key way of both sending supplies to Afghanistan and stepping up trade with Central Asia and Africa. Further drop in Iranian production is expected but the extent will depend on negotiations between the USA and countries potentially seeking waivers, Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director, said in an interview.

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