USA exempts three Iranian nuclear sites from sanctions

Galtero Lara
Noviembre 7, 2018

The U.S. sanctions had threatened India's ability to obtain financing for the development of Chabahar, which could potentially end Afghanistan's dependence on Pakistan's port of Karachi.

The exception granted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to USA sanctions reimposed on Iran on Monday also will permit the construction of a railway line from Chabahar port to Afghanistan, and for shipments to the war-torn country of non-sanctionable goods, like food and medicines, the spokesman said.

Activities related to the development of the Chabahar port in Iran will be exempt from U.S sanctions that kicked in on Monday, following the 180 day cool-off period after the USA withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or "Iran Deal") in May this year.

US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo had said these countries have shown significant reduction in oil purchase from Iran.

President Donald Trump's "South Asia strategy underscores our ongoing support of Afghanistan's economic growth and development as well as our close partnership with India", a State Department spokesman said on November 6.

The Chabahar Port is considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries besides ramping up trade among the three countries after Pakistan denied transit access to India.

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A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the U.S. dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector.

"We seek to build on our close relationships with both the countries as we execute a policy of maximum pressure to change the Iranian regime's destabilising policies in the region and beyond", the spokesperson added. "These activities are vital for the ongoing support of Afghanistan's growth and humanitarian relief", the spokesman said.

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

"This exception relates to reconstruction assistance and economic development for Afghanistan", he said.

India had lobbied the United States privately and publicly for an exemption for the port citing the role it plays in Afghanistan's reconstruction.

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