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India appreciates US waiver regarding Iran sanctions


New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS): India on Friday expressed its appreciation to the US for waiving it from Washington's sanctions on Iran's oil imports and development of the crucial Chabahar port.

"We have seen the US notification including India in the list of countries granted significant reduction exemption for continued purchase of Iranian crude oil without attracting US sanctions," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

"We appreciate that the US government has taken into account our need for energy security and understood our sensitivities on this matter," he said. "We welcome this. We are now examining the details of the exemption."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that Washington was exempting India and seven other countries from the sanctions on importing oil from Iran. There had been concerns in New Delhi following the fresh US sanctions on Iran, which came into effect on November 5, as Tehran is a major supplier of crude oil to India. The US pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that Tehran signed with the five permanent members (P5) of the UN Security Council, Germany and the European Union and imposed the new sanctions on Iran over its alleged nuclear programme.

On Friday, the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson also said that New Delhi had taken note of the exception provided by Washington of the Chabahar port on the southeastern coast of Iran that is being jointly developed by India, Afghanistan and Iran.

"We have taken note of the US statement that exception has been provided under the Iran Freedom and Counter Proliferation Act of 2012 with respect to development of Chabahar Port and the construction of an associated railway line," Kumar said. "We appreciate that the US recognized the role which this port will play to bring strategic and long-term benefits to Afghanistan as well as enhance Afghanistan's connectivity with the outside world."

India is investing $500 million to develop the Chabahar port and a road link from there to Afghanistan to give access to that country by bypassing Pakistan. 


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