Oct 26, 2020 06:10 UTC
  • US signals India’s work in Iran’s Chabahar port is exempt from sanctions: Report

An Indian newspaper says the United States has offered fresh assurances to India that its involvement in the Iranian port of Chabahar would not be affected by Washington’s sanctions on Iran.

The Sunday Express said in a report that US authorities had signaled India’s exemptions from Iran sanctions in a diplomatic message conveyed to New Delhi earlier in October just after Washington imposed a series of new bans on Iran’s financial sector.

The report said the message came as senior US officials prepare to hold days of high-profile meetings in New Delhi starting October 26.

It said that Washington’s assurances on India’s work in Chabahar falls within the framework of humanitarian exemptions given to entities and governments working on reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.

India has committed itself to major investment and development plans in Chabahar, a port on the Sea of Oman where Iran is seeking to set up a major hub of trade between the Indian Ocean and landlocked countries to its east and northeast.

However, reports show that Iran has been generally unsatisfied with the degree of India’s involvement in the port as New Delhi keeps blaming the US sanctions for a halt in various projects.

The report by The Sunday Express suggested that Indian companies have been further pushed back from work in Chabahar by a US government announcement on October 9 which expanded the sanctions to cover 18 Iranian banks. The new bans require all-non American entities with interests in the US to wind down their engagement with the Iranian financial sector within 45 days.

Iran has been pressing ahead with its massive infrastructure projects in Chabahar despite India’s poor progress in the port.

Experts believe activities in Chabahar will boom significantly once a 700-kilometer railway connecting the port to areas near the Afghan border comes fully on line by March 2022.

ME

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