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Pompeo allows sanctions exception for Iran port development

Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

By Jonathan Landay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top has granted an exception to certain U.S. sanctions that will allow the India-led development of a port in as part of a new designed to boost Afghanistan's economy, a State Department said on Tuesday.

The exception granted by to U.S. sanctions reimposed on on Monday also will permit the construction of a railway line from to Afghanistan, and for shipments to the war-torn country of non-sanctionable goods, like and medicines, the said.

In addition, will be allowed to continue importing Iranian petroleum products, the said.

"These activities are vital for the ongoing support of Afghanistan's growth and humanitarian relief," the spokesman said in a statement emailed to

The sanctions reimposed on Iran's - its main revenue source - and financial sector were triggered by U.S. Donald Trump's May 8 decision to abandon the 2015 international deal designed to block Tehran's development of nuclear weapons.

Trump denounced the deal, which lifted sanctions on in return for limits on its nuclear program. He argued that it would not prevent from developing weapons and failed to address other activities, such as its ballistic missile program and support for extremist groups.

The sanctions, however, threatened India's ability to obtain financing for the development of Chabahar, which could potentially open the way for millions of dollars of trade for land-locked and end its dependence on

Building Afghanistan's economy also could reduce Kabul's dependence on foreign aid and put a major dent in the illicit opium trade, the main revenue source of the insurgency.

The sanctions exception granted to the Chabahar project aims to further U.S. ties with and "as we execute a policy of maximum pressure to change the Iranian regime's destabilising policies in the region and beyond," the State Department spokesman said.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by and Bill Berkrot)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 07 2018. 02:09 IST