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No exemptions for India firms, says US on Chabahar deal

India takes one more step to develop Chabahar port.. Image Source: IANS News

Washington, May 14 : A few hours after India and Iran signed a 10-year agreement regarding the Chabahar port, the US has said there will be no exemptions for Indian firms dealing with Iran from sanctions already in force.

This signals a dramatic shift away from the previous exemption from sanctions granted by the Trump administration in 2018 when the then-president rescinded the Iran nuclear deal signed by his predecessor President Barack Obama.

Vedant Patel, the Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Department, told reporters on Monday that while the agreement was a bilateral matter between India and Iran and that India was free to run its foreign policy the way it wants, “any entity (or) anyone considering business deals with Iran … need to be aware of the potential risks that they’re opening themselves up to the term risk of sanctions”.

Asked if there will be no exemptions, the Spokesperson said, “No.”

He was responding to questions on the agreement signed by New Delhi and Tehran that allows India to operate the Chabahar port for 10 years.

The 2018 exemption was granted to allow India to construct and develop the port in south Iran to allow it to send shipments to Afghanistan and beyond because Pakistan did not allow the use of its territory.

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