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India to keep trade ties with Iran under sanctions
November 19, 2018, 8:42 am

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani (left) has told India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the two countries are strategic partners [Image: BRICS2015]

Economic and strategic partners India and Iran are exploring ways to continue their relationship in light of renewed sanctions by the Trump administration earlier this month.

The Indian ambassador to Iran Saurabh Kumar met with the head of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture on Tuesday to keep trade relations strong during the current sanctions period.

One item in focus was the strategic Iranian port of Chabahar which has been exempted from the sanctions regimen.

The US has listed several companies, facilities, and even countries which traditionally trade with Iran as exemptions. This is to minimize the adverse effect of the sanctions on US allies.

India intends to lease two berths at Chabahar for 10 years. The port will be developed through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which will invest $85.21 million to convert the berths into a container terminal and a multi-purpose cargo terminal.

The port of Chabahar in southeast Iran is pivotal to India’s efforts to open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests.

During their meeting on Saturday, Kumar and Masoud Khansari reviewed a list of more than 1,000 items such as staple food, medicine and essential humanitarianitems which Iran can import from India, and likely using both countries’ currencies.

In the interim, India will import some 300,000 barrels of Iranian crude every day for the next six months. This transaction is also exempted from the US roster of sanctions. Noteworthy is that India will use rupees to pay for the energy source.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies