Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

USA exempts three Iranian nuclear sites from sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the Iranian Parliament in Tehran Iran Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the Iranian Parliament in Tehran Iran
Orlando Vargas | 09 November, 2018, 07:53

Earlier this week, Mr. Zanganeh wrote to OPEC complaining that some members of the so-called Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee - which consists of all OPEC and non-OPEC countries - "openly" side with the US regarding sanctions on Iran, The Associated Press reported.

With output overall rising, supply is ample despite the Iran sanctions now in place, prompting rumblings within the Middle East dominated Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that renewed supply cuts may be needed next year to prevent a glut. The first phase of the strategically-located project was inaugurated in December previous year.

"After extensive consideration, the United States has provided an exception under the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act to allow #Afghanistan to continue to import petroleum products from Iran and for shipment of non-sanctionable goods through #Chabahar Port for Afg", tweeted Bass.

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 Afghanistan and end its dependence on Pakistan's port of Karachi.

The US State Department has warned nations, allowing Iran's shipping vessels into their territorial waters and ports, of potential risks connected to insurance liabilities amid the recently introduced sanctions. "These activities are vital for the ongoing support of Afghanistan's growth and humanitarian relief".

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The decline in prices over the past weeks follows a rally between August and October when crude was pushed up ahead of the re-introduction of sanctions against Iran's oil exports on November 5.

"The president's [Donald Trump's] South Asia strategy underscores our ongoing support of Afghanistan's economic growth and development as well as our close partnership with India", said the official.

"We are making it abundantly clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior". Plans to link the port to the Iranian rail system, which connects to Afghanistan and on to Central Asia, featured in the U.S. State Department's decision. "We continue negotiations to get all of the nations to zero", said the Secretary of State. It understands India's national security interests. The port project is simply too critical for India and can benefit Afghanistan immensely.

"This exception relates to reconstruction assistance and economic development for Afghanistan. So this waiver is squarely aligned with the United States interests", he said.

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