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Be careful in trade via Chabahar port, US envoy tells Afghans

Be careful in trade via Chabahar port, US envoy tells Afghans

KABUL: US envoy to Afghanistan John Bass on Wednesday said his country would also impose curbs on Chabahar Port if Afghan traders violated American rules about trade with Iran.

The US officially re-imposed sanctions on Iran, which had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The US President Donald Trump administration added nearly 700 targets, including 50 Iranian financial institutions, to a sanctions list Monday.

Trump administration officials said the reinstated sanctions marked an intensifying effort to strangle Iran’s economy to pressure the regime to change its ways.

Any company or country that does business with Tehran will feel the sting of US penalties, they said. The sanctions would cover gas and petroleum industry, petrochemicals, shipping and Iran’s banking system.

The US demands from Iran include end to the regime’s support for terrorism, end to military interference in Syria and stopping ballistic missiles program before reaching a new agreement.

A day after the US imposed punitive sanctions on Iran, Washington said it was giving exemption to the development of Chabahar Port and associated railroad linking the strategically located port to Afghanistan and transportation of non-sanctionable to Afghanistan.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul on Wednesday, John Bass, the US envoy to Afghanistan, the exception was given to Afghanistan based on the authority the US president enjoyed.

He said any type of materials that help Afghanistan in its development, reconstruction and prosperity were not in the sanction list. “This step is taken for economic development and reconstruction of Afghanistan”, Bass added.

However, he said: “I clearly declare that this exception does not mean commercial deals would continue normally, the US bans transition of USD to Iran, it also bans some financial relations.”

Afghan and Indian traders doing business through Chabahar port should be careful and should have business relations with only those Iranians who were not under the US sanctions, he added.

Bass said no commercial deals should be made with Iranians who are under the sanctions.

“These exceptions are not permanent and may be cancelled anytime, particularly when this opportunity is misused by those who are under sanctions,” he concluded.