Shouldn’t take narrow view of Chabahar: Jaishankar after US warning on sanctions | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Shouldn’t take narrow view of Chabahar: Jaishankar after US warning on sanctions

May 16, 2024 05:02 AM IST

External affairs minister S Jaishankar underscored that the US has been appreciative of the relevance of Chabahar port in the past

NEW DELHI: A “narrow view” shouldn’t be taken of the India-Iran agreement to develop Chabahar port as the project will benefit the entire region, external affairs minister S Jaishankar has said after the US warned any country having business dealings with Iran faces the potential risk of sanctions.

External affairs minister S. Jaishankar speaks during the release of the Bangla translation of his book 'Why Bharat Matters', in Kolkata on May 14. (PTI)
External affairs minister S. Jaishankar speaks during the release of the Bangla translation of his book 'Why Bharat Matters', in Kolkata on May 14. (PTI)

The US state department issued the warning hours after India and Iran signed a 10-year agreement on Monday for expanding Indian operations at Chabahar, a strategic deep sea port on the Gulf of Oman. The US also said there was no exemption from US sanctions for the India-Iran pact.

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Referring to the remarks by the US state department’s deputy spokesperson, Jaishankar said at a programme in Kolkata late on Tuesday night that the US has been appreciative of the relevance of Chabahar port in the past.

Also Read: Why Iranian envoy thinks US won’t impose sanctions on India over Chabahar port

“I did see some remarks which were made, but I think it’s a question of communicating and convincing and getting people to understand that this is actually for everybody’s benefit. I don’t think people should take a narrow view of it. And they have not done so in the past,” he said.

India has had a long association with Chabahar port but had so far been unable to sign a long-term agreement with Iran for its operations at the facility, Jaishankar said. “The reason was there were various problems...Finally, we were able to sort this out and we were able to get the long-term agreement done,” he said, adding the pact was needed to improve port operations that will benefit the whole region.

“If you look at even the US’s own attitude to Chabahar in the past, the US has been appreciative of the fact that Chabahar has a larger relevance. We will work at it,” he added.

In a separate development, US ambassador Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday that Washington continues to have concerns about Iran’s activities in the region, though “clarifications” can be expected about the issue of Chabahar port.

“We know that India is a friend, we’ve looked at things on a case-by-case basis but in general, our system of sanctions against folks that are working with Iran, which is exporting terrorism, is something we take very seriously,” Garcetti told News 18 channel.

That will be something that we’ll have to look at further and I think that you’ll see clarifications in the future,” he said while responding to a question on the India-Iran agreement and the US warning of sanctions.

Both New Delhi and Tehran see Chabahar port, located on Iran’s energy-rich southern coast, as a hub for trade and transit with Europe, Russia, Afghanistan and the Central Asian states. They have also projected the port as a hub for the 7,200-km International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

The US had provided an exception from sanctions under the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 for the development of Chabahar port in 2018.

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