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Iran sanctions: Washington exempts India on Chabahar Port

Recognized: India’s role in rebuilding Afghanistan


Recognized: India’s role in rebuilding Afghanistan


Recognizing the importance of strategic partnership with India and reconstruction of Afghanistan, the United States has exempted New Delhi for its development of Chabahar Port, a competition to China-led Gwadar Port in Pakistan, from Iranian economic sanctions.

Chabahar Port, along with an associated railway, are strategic development supporting economic well-being of Afghanistan as well as an artery of the Indian-Russian connectivity through the Central Asian countries.

The International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a 7,200-km-long multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe. The route primarily involves moving freight from India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road.

Secretary of State has exempted certain sanctions under the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act 2012, related to port and rail development.

The decision by the Trump administration, which a day earlier imposed the toughest ever sanctions on Iran and is very restrictive in giving exemptions, is seen as a recognition by

Washington recognizes India’s role in development of the port on the Gulf of Oman, a strategic development to support economic reconstruction of the war-torn Afghanistan.

These exemptions also reflect President Donald Trump’s South Asian strategy and close partnership with India.

India has invested some US$85.2 million on Phase I of the port in Southeastern Iran. It is projected to generate a revenue of US$23 million over the 10-year lease.

Chabahar route will result in 60% reduction in shipment costs and 50% reduction in shipment time from India to Central Asia.

Chabahar Port is Iran’s only oceanic port, within which are two separate ports — Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti, each of which has five berths.

It is part of the larger US$21 billion India-Iran-Afghanistan memorandum of understanding (MoU) for Chabahar-Hajigak corridor.

The MoU also covers India’s US$150 million credit line to Iran, US$8 billion India-Iran MoU for Indian industrial investment in Chabahar Special Economic Zone, US$11-billion Hajigak iron and steel mining project in central Afghanistan.

Along with these investments is India’s US$2 billion commitment to Afghanistan for developing supporting infrastructure including the Chabahar-Hajigaj railway, via connectivity to 7,200-km-long multi-mode North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC) connecting to Europe and Turkey.

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