The US is reportedly considering granting a waiver to the Iranian port of Chabahar that would permit trade there despite the return of US sanctions against trading with Iran. India has invested hugely in the port, and it’s expected to become the key to mineral extraction in Afghanistan, where the US is struggling to end a two-decade-long war.
Chabahar is Iran’s southernmost city, its only deep-water port and the anchor of the Chabahar-Hajigak corridor, a road and rail connection between the Indian Ocean and central Afghanistan. India has sunk billions into developing the corridor since 2003, including a $2 billion agreement penned in January for India to build a railroad between Chabahar and Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchistan Province 430 miles inland, the Financial Tribune reported in at the time.
But all that has been cast into doubt now, as the US seeks to cut Iran off from the world once again after US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an international deal that dropped sanctions against trading with Iran in exchange for that country accepting severe limitations on its nuclear program designed to prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“As we review the issue of Chabahar, it’ll be in the context of what it provides for the stabilization of Afghanistan or for the kind of regional connectivity that serves other interests as well. But it’s an ongoing process of review,” Wells said.
Wells noted that “India is quite sensitive to price fluctuations,” an important issue considering the country has a general election scheduled for the spring of 2019.Economist and political analyst Shabbir Razvi told Sputnik Thursday that the US was not only “trying to control the trade practices of the entire world,” it’s attempting to control how foreign nations trade. Razvi noted that US trade policy was effectively summarized by John Connally, US Secretary of the Treasury, the agency that handles US economic sanctions, under former president Richard Nixon: “My view is that the foreigners are out to screw us,” Connally said in 1971, “and therefore, it’s our job to screw them first.”