Exemption of Chabahar Port from sanctions indicates Afghanistan’s importance to the US.
As tensions are being intensified between Iran and the US, the US department of State has recently declared that Chabahar Port would be exempted from the US sanctions, an expert Sayed Jamal Akhgar said.
Chabahar Port is among the key routes to Afghanistan to access Indian goods and Iran’s oil.
The port is deemed to be a best alternative to Pakistan’s Karachi Port that can ensure main part of Afghanistan’s trade deals.
In 2016, Afghan, Iranian and Indian officials signed a series of agreements that ensured New Delhi’s investment in the Chabahar port project. The port, along with an attached railway project, allows Indian goods to reach Afghanistan and Central Asian countries without having to cross the Pakistani border, which is often closed due Islamabad’s political tensions with New Delhi and Kabul.
In fact, the US wants to support Afghanistan’s economic growth from one side and prepare the ground for close cooperation with India on the other.
Earlier, Pakistan had closed its routes at Afghan and Indian traders several times, an action caused both countries’ traders to impose huge amount of losses, Akhgar went on to say.
To decrease Afghanistan’s trade vulnerabilities being imposed by the Pakistani government, during a telephone conversation with US officials, President Ghani asked the US to exclude Chabahar Port from sanctions and it positively responded to this demand.
The regional countries particularly Pakistan and Iran have now realized Afghanistan and US strategic relations importance and known that the US would respect Kabul’s demands.
The latest round of talks on the port took place last month during a meeting in Kabul between President Ghani and US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells.
At the same time, during a telephone conversation with The Kabul Times officials of the ministry for commerce and industries said we talked with US officials to exclude Afghanistan from sanctions and they did so.