Friday, 16 November, 2018

Russia, Germany slam United States sanctions on Iran

Daily December WTI Crude Oil Daily December WTI Crude Oil
Priscilla Morrison | 07 November, 2018, 20:14

The first phase of the strategically-located project was inaugurated in December past year.

On November 5, the Trump administration had imposed the "toughest-ever" sanctions on Iran's banking, energy and shipping industries, in a move aimed at altering the "behaviour" of the country's regime.

Iran has plans to link the port by railway to Zahedan on the Pakistani border up to Mashhad in the northeast.

This waiver will bring some measure of relief to India, which had been discussing a sanctions exemption for Chabahar having signed an agreement with Iran and Afghanistan in May 2016 for the port's development.

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.

In the US, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a crude oil inventory build of 7.83 million barrels for the week-ending November 2.

US President Donald Trump's administration in May reinstated all sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, targeting both Iran and countries that trade with it in oil, financial transactions with its Central Bank and the country's port sector.

More news: North Korea diplomatic talks postponed, no reason given

The port in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich nations southern coast is easily accessible from India's western coast and is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan's Gwadar Port, which is being developed with Chinese investment and is located at distance of around 80 kms from Chabahar. Reacting to the Trump administration's decision, United States experts said it was a "right move".

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

Smith said, Delhi credibly argued that if it were to abandon development efforts at Chabahar the void would most likely be filled by others, including China. It understands India's national security interests.

Rick Rossow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies said: "Chabahar's role to transport key logistics to Afghanistan will continue to grow over time".

Meanwhile, US ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass said the US has, after extensive consideration, provided an exception under the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act.

"We have weathered hard times in the face of 40 years of American hostility relying exclusively on our own resources, and today we and our partners across the globe will ensure that our people are least affected by this indiscriminate assault", he said.

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