United States exempts India-backed port in Iran from sanctions

Crude Oil

Crude Oil

Crude's poised for the longest losing streak since 2014 as concerns of a supply crunch eased on a forecast for rising USA production and waivers for eight countries allowing temporary import of Iranian oil.

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.

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

"After extensive consideration, the Secretary has provided for an exception from the imposition of certain sanctions with respect to the development of Chabahar Port and the construction of an associated railway and for the shipment of non-sanctionable goods through the Port for Afghanistan", a state department spokesperson said in a statement to the Hindustan Times on Tuesday.

The South Korean government is breathing a sigh of relief this morning after it was confirmed that Seoul has been granted a waiver from newly-imposed US sanctions on Iran.

The State Department reminded the global shipping and insurance industries on Wednesday that as part of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure campaign" to get Iran to change its behaviour, insuring Iranian tankers will now incur penalties under USA sanctions reinstated this week.

"These activities are vital for the ongoing support of Afghanistan's growth and humanitarian relief", the spokesman said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

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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. It states that India has a major role in bringing peace and development in Afghanistan.

The U.S. spokesperson said that President Donald Trump's South Asia strategy was focused on economic growth for Afghanistan and a "close partnernship" with India and the U.S seeks to maintain a close relationship with both countries as they pursue a "policy of maximum pressure" against Iran.

The Persian version said the U.S. "will regret this unwise move" and emphasised that the sanctions were aimed at "separating people from each other and from the establishment".

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

"Combined with the importance, this administration places on developing good ties with India, there was a compelling geopolitical case to be made for a waiver", he said.

Saudi Arabia and other producers gathering in Abu Dhabi this weekend face a worrying prospect: Even though U.S. sanctions on Iran are removing significant amounts of crude from world markets, a fresh surge of American shale oil threatens to unleash a new surplus in 2019. It understands India's national security interests.

"They will absolutely want to at some point next year try to arrange a reduction in production", said Ed Morse, head of commodities at Citigroup Inc.

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