Waiver for Chabahar will serve strategic interests

It is a matter of relief that India has got waiver from US sanctions for the development of the Chabahar port in Iran and for the rail link to Afghanistan through Iran. Normally, such an eventuality for a waiver should not have arisen but with the Americans flexing their muscles against Iran on the nuclear issue, India was reluctant to push through without US waiver. Evidently, US President Donald Trump has recognised the strategic imperative of dealing with China which in conjunction with Pakistan is developing Gwadar port. That Gwadar will have Chabahar as a counter is happy augury and it is good that the US has appreciated that fact. That the reconstruction of Afghanistan would get a fillip with the active Indian participation in Chabahar goes without saying.

It is to be hoped now that Iran would not succumb to any Chinese pressure and would go all the way in speedy development of Chabahar port and that the US would cooperate in the exercise.  The shipment of ‘non-sanctionable’ goods through Chabahar must go on without impediments now without any roadblocks along the way. For India, Chabahar is important because it would be out gateway to Central Asia for trade and commerce. The port waiver, having come close on the heels of the waiver on US sanctions on oil imports for eight countries including India from Iran is indeed a welcome development. It is squarely aligned with US interests in so far as the port would have a key role in transporting key logistics to Afghanistan.

Editorial

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