USA will regret sanctions

India gets US waiver for development of strategic Chabahar Port in Iran

U.S. exempts Chabahar port-related activities from its sanctions

"Since its inauguration a year ago, we have shipped about 110 thousand metric tons of much-needed wheat and 2,000 metric tons of pulses from India to Afghanistan through this port", Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale had said at a conference in New Delhi Delhi last week.

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.

Pompeo said eight countries would be granted waivers from the sanctions as they had significantly reduced their purchases of Iranian crude over the past six months.

"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 state department spokesperson said.

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.

Representatives of India, Afghanistan and Iran met a little more than two weeks ago in New Delhi, despite looming US 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 top U.S. diplomat has granted an exception to certain USA sanctions that will allow the India-led development of a port in Iran as part of a new transportation corridor created to boost Afghanistan's economy, a State Department spokesman said on Tuesday. "Where Chabahar is critical to India's access to and assistance towards ensuring a stable Afghanistan, India's energy needs require a basket of energy suppliers", Pande said.

In a relief for India, the United States has exempted New Delhi from the imposition of certain sanctions for the development of the strategically-located Chabahar Port in Iran as well as the construction of the railway line connecting it with Afghanistan.

The sanctions are meant to exert pressure on Iran to renegotiate its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which Trump walked away from this year.

"The US will be granting these exemptions to China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey".

New Delhi has poured $2 billion into development in Afghanistan since the 2001 US -led overthrow of the Taliban government.

Trump's decision has been opposed by European powers as well as other nations including India, which has largely warm relations with Iran.

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