US warns of sanctions after India-Iran Chabahar Port agreement

World Tuesday 14/May/2024 07:59 AM
US warns of sanctions after India-Iran Chabahar Port agreement

Washington, DC: Hours after India signed an agreement to operate the Chabahar Port in Iran for 10 years, the United States has warned that "anyone" considering business deals with Tehran needs to be aware of the "potential risk of sanctions."

The US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson, Vedant Patel, however, also said that it will let the Indian government speak on its foreign policy goals.

"We are aware of these reports that Iran and India have signed a deal concerning the Chabahar Port, I would let the government of India speak to its own foreign policy goals, vis-a-vis the Chabahar Port as well as its own bilateral relationship with Iran," Vedant Patel said in the press briefing on Monday (local time).

He added: "I would just say...US sanctions on Iran remain in place and we will continue to enforce them."

"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," Patel said.

The Long-Term Bilateral Contract on Chabahar Port Operation was signed between Indian Ports Global Limited (IPGL) of India and the Port & Maritime Organisation (PMO) of Iran on Monday, enabling the operation of Shahid-Behesti port in the Chabahar Port Development Project for a period of 10 years.

IPGL has committed to further equipping and operating the port for the duration of the contract. At the end of the 10-year period, both sides would further extend their cooperation in Chabahar.

IPGL will invest approximately USD 120 million in equipping the port. India has also offered an in-credit window equivalent to USD 250 million, for mutually identified projects aimed at improving Chabahar-related infrastructure.

This 10-year long-term lease agreement further strengthens the bilateral ties between the two countries while bolstering confidence and boosting trust among trading communities in the region.

The Chabahar Port is an India-Iran flagship project that serves as an important transit port for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, which are landlocked countries. India has been a key player in the development and operation of Chabahar Port.

The Indian government has invested in the port's infrastructure and has been involved in upgrading its facilities to make it a viable transit route for Indian goods bound for Afghanistan and Central Asia.