US warns of sanctions after India-Iran Chabahar Port pact

When questioned about India's exemption, state dept spokesperson replied, "No," indicating no special treatment

APP May 14, 2024
File photo shows an aerial view of Chabahar port in southeastern Iranian province of Sistan and Balochistan. PHOTO: IRNA


Hours after India signed a 10-year contract to operate Iran’s Chabahar port, the US warned that its sanctions on Tehran remain in place and “anyone” considering business deals with the Islamic Republic needs to be “aware of the potential risk”.

At the same time, the State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson, Vedant Patel, said that it will let the Indian government speak on its foreign policy goals.

“I will let the government of India speak to its own foreign policy goals vis-à-vis the Chabahar port as well as its own bilateral relationship with Iran,” Patel said in the department’s daily press briefing on Monday.

“We are aware of these reports that Iran and India have signed a deal concerning the Chabahar Port,” Patel said in response to a question.

Read more: India inks 10-year deal to operate Iran's Chabahar port

But, he added, “Any entity, anyone considering business deals with Iran, they need to be aware of the potential risk they are opening themselves up to, potential risk of sanctions.”

The agreement for the Long-Term Bilateral Contract regarding the operation of Chabahar Port, Iran’s sole ocean port, was officially executed on Monday between Indian Ports Global Limited (IPGL) from India and the Port & Maritime Organisation (PMO) of Iran.

Patel confirmed that the sanctions imposed by Washington on Tehran are still in effect and will be upheld, and refused to exempt New Delhi for this deal.

“US sanctions on Iran remain in place and we will continue to enforce them,” he said. Asked if India was given an exemption from the sanctions for this deal, Patel said, “No.”


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