India gets United States waiver for development of strategic Chabahar Port in Iran

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the Iranian Parliament in Tehran Iran

At the same time, Washington temporarily exempted eight nations from the sanctions on importing oil from Iran.

While Iran's exports have plunged by nearly 40 percent since April, the International Energy Agency says OPEC must still increase output to meet "robust" global demand growth.

Russia, Turkey, India, Iraq, Qatar, China and others have been actively making steps to switch to national currencies in settlements in order to bypass Washington's pressure. Ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will gather in Abu Dhabi this weekend to discuss options for 2019 including the possibility of cutting production again next year. "We continue negotiations to get all of the nations to zero", said the Secretary of State. The report was largely in line with analyst expectations that this week would see another substantial build in crude oil inventories of 2.050 million barrels.

The U.S. State Department says it is exempting Iran's big port project in Chabahar from sanctions in recognition of its importance to landlocked Afghanistan.

A convinced United States administration told India Today, "The President's South Asia strategy underscores our ongoing support of Afghanistan's economic growth and development as well as our close partnership with India".

The top USA diplomat has granted an exception to certain U.S. sanctions that will allow the India-led development of a port in Iran as part of a new transportation corridor created to boost Afghanistan's economy, a State Department spokesman said on Tuesday.

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Chabahar and INSTC are important strategic projects for India and Afghanistan.

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

Adding that while the "exception" has been granted after much deliberation, the strategic importance of these projects can not be ignored. "These activities are vital for the ongoing support of Afghanistan's growth and humanitarian relief".

"This exception relates to reconstruction assistance and economic development for Afghanistan", he said. However, he did not give more details. The port of Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman - as Iran's sole Indian Ocean port - has emerged as a key feeder port to the INSTC.

"Since its inauguration previous year, we have shipped about 110 thousand metric tons of much-needed wheat and 2,000 metric tons of pulses from India to Afghanistan through this port", Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale had said at a conference in New Delhi Delhi last week.

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