US sanctions exceptions for Chabahar
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has granted an exception to US sanctions that will allow India to develop Iran’s Chabahar Port.
The exception granted to US sanctions reimposed on Iran this month also will permit the construction of a railway line from Chabahar port to Afghanistan and shipments of non-sanctionable goods, like food and medicine, a State Department spokesman has said. Afghanistan will be allowed to continue importing Iranian petroleum products.
“These activities are vital for the ongoing support of Afghanistan’s growth and humanitarian relief,” the spokesman said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
An agreement for the start of interim operations at Chabahar was signed on 6 May, but following this, the US announced its decision to re-sanction Iran, which slowed the process as India was not able to provide a bank guarantee for the project.
The development of Chabahar could potentially facilitate significant trade for land-locked Afghanistan and end its dependence on Pakistan’s port of Karachi.
The sanctions exception granted to the Chabahar project aims to further US ties with Afghanistan and India “as we execute a policy of maximum pressure to change the Iranian regime’s destabilizing policies in the region and beyond,” the State Department spokesman said.
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