Washington: The strategic Chabahar port project, being developed by India in Iran, is a separate exception and will not be impacted by US President Donald Trump’s decision not to renew exemptions that let eight countries including India to buy Iranian oil without facing tough American sanctions, a State Department official said.
The Chabahar port, considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries, is located on the Indian Ocean in the Sistan and Baluchistan province of Iran.
The port, which is easily accessible from India’s western coast, is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port which is being developed with the Chinese investment.
A State Department spokesperson told PTI that the operation of Chabahar Port is a separate exception.
“The exception for reconstruction assistance and economic development for Afghanistan, which includes the development and operation of Chabahar Port, is a separate exception, and is not affected by yesterday’s announcement,” the official said.
President Trump, in a move that could have implications on India’s energy security, on Monday decided not to grant sanctions exemptions to any oil customers of Iran, further squeezing Tehran’s top export commodity.
We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.
Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.
The US re-imposed sanctions on Iran last November, after Trump pulled out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The US move, seen as an escalation of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” on Iran, comes after it gave temporary 180-days waiver to eight countries, including India, China, Turkey and Japan among others last year.
The spokesperson said that the “president’s South Asia strategy underscores our ongoing support of Afghanistan’s development as well as our close partnership with India”.
“We seek to build on our close relationships with both countries as we execute a policy of maximum pressure on the Iranian regime,” said the spokesperson in response to a question on the decision taken by Trump.
Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil during April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of 2017-18 fiscal).
In May 2016, India, Iran and Afghanistan inked a pact which entailed establishment of Transit and Transport Corridor among the three countries using Chabahar port as one of the regional hubs for sea transportation in Iran, besides multi-modal transport of goods and passengers across the three nations.
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.