Monday, May 27

US Warns Countries Against Business Deal With Iran; Alerts India Over Chabahar Port Deal

Edited by Fazal Rahman Chembulangad

Amid soaring tension in West Asia following the Israel-Hamas war, the United States reportedly warned countries against considering business deals with Iran. During his regular news conference on Monday,  US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said that anyone considering a business deal with Iran is opening themselves to “potential risk of sanctions,” news agency ANI reported.

Notably, the US warning regarding a business deal with Iran comes after India signed a 10-year deal with Iran to run the Chabahar Port located in the Islamic Republic. Shipping and Port Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has gone to Tehran and signed the new 10-year contract between India Ports Global Ltd (IPGL) and the Ports & Maritime Organisation of Iran (PMO).

The US had vowed to impose fresh sanctions following Iran’s retaliatory strike in Israel for the former’s attack on latter’s consulate in Damascus, Syria. The US has been imposing sanctions against Iran to regulate the activities of the country. 

The US, while warning the nations against business deals with Iran had noted the India-Iran agreement saying that it is aware of the deal regarding the Chabahar Port. However, the US spokesperson stated that it would allow the Indian government to speak on its foreign policy. “I will let the government of India speak to its own foreign policy goals vis-à-vis the Chabahar port as well as its own bilateral relationship with Iran,” Vedant Patel said.

Responding to a question regarding India’s long-term contract with Iran on the Chabahar port, the spokesperson said that the US sanctions on Iran remain in place and the US will continue to enforce them.

Following the deal with India, India Ports Global Ltd is expected to invest around 120 million dollars in the setting up and operation of the Chabahar Port for ten years. It is reported that India has also offered an in-credit window of 250 million dollars for mutually identified projects aimed at improving Chabahar-related infrastructure. For India, the project is strategically important as it serves as a crucial transit hub for trade with Afghanistan and some other Central Asian countries.