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US warns of sanctions after India-Iran Chabahar Port Deal

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WASHINGTON D.C. : Hours after India signed a deal to operate the Chabahar Port in Iran for 10 years, the United States reiterated that “anyone considering business deals with Iran needs to be aware of the potential risk of sanctions.”

This comes days after the US announced new sanctions on Iran targeting its unmanned aerial vehicle production after its attack on Israel.

“We’re aware of these reports that Iran and India have signed a deal concerning the Chabahar Port. I will 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,” Mr. Vedant Patel, Deputy Spokesperson of the US State Department, said while responding to a question of the agreement between India and Iran.

I will just say, as it relates to the United States, US sanctions on Iran remain in place and we’ll continue to enforce them,” he added.

Further, on being asked if that would mean including sanctions against Indian firms, Patel said, “Broadly, you’ve heard us say this in a number of instances, that any entity, anyone considering business deals with Iran, they need to be aware of the potential risk that they are opening themselves up to and the potential risk of sanctions.”

The contract between India and Iran was signed in Tehran by India Ports Global Ltd and the Ports and Maritime Organisation of Iran in the presence of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, according to a series of posts on X by the Indian Embassy in Iran.

This is the first time India will take over the management of an overseas port.

In April this year, the US imposed sanctions on suppliers to Pakistan’s ballistic missile programme, including three companies from China.

“The sanctions were made because these were entities that were proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and the means of their delivery. These were entities based in the PRC (People’s Republic of China), in Belarus, and that we have witnessed to have supplied equipment and other applicable items to Pakistan’s ballistic missile programme,” Patel had then said.

A couple of days later, the US slapped sanctions on over a dozen companies, individuals and vessels, including three from India, for facilitating illicit trade and UAV transfers on behalf of the Iranian military.

The US Department of Treasury alleged that these companies, individuals and vessels have played a central role in facilitating and financing the clandestine sale of Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Russia’s war in Ukraine.


On Monday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the Chabahar Port will definitely see more investments and connectivity linkages coming out of it after India and Iran signed a long-term contract for the operation of its Shahid Beheshti Port Terminal.

He also said the port will help connect India and Central Asia better.

“Right now the port has not grown. If you don’t have a long-term agreement, it is difficult to invest in a port. So the very clear expectation is that part of the Chabahar that we are involved in will definitely see more investments, it will see more connectivity linkages coming out of that port,” Shri Jaishankar said.

“We believe today that connectivity is a big issue in that part. Chabahar will connect us with Central Asia,” he added.

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