Two Chinese companies and a Finnish firm involved in the construction of Chabahar Port have suspended work in the wake of US sanctions being re-imposed on Iran.
According to reports, the three companies stopped their work after the US pulled out of Iran’s nuclear program and imposed new sanctions on Tehran.
US President Donald Trump’s decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran has also had an impact on banks and financial institutions who are now nervous about financing the project.
Pakistan’s Dawn News meanwhile quoted an Indian diplomat as saying: “President Trump’s decision has brought us back to the drawing board and we will have to renegotiate terms and conditions on using Chabahar.”
“It is a route that can change the way India-Iran-Afghanistan do business, but for now everything is in a state of uncertainty.”
Meanwhile the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) said they will continue trade ties with different nations based on Afghanistan’s national interests.
“We as an independent state will try to have good trade and transit ties with all the countries through different routes considering our national interests,” MoCI spokesman Musafir Quqandi said.
“Chabahar Port is a very important port for Afghanistan in terms of trade. It can be a good alternative for most of the ports that Afghanistan uses,” Mohammad Muhsin Amiri, an investor said.
Sources meanwhile told TOLOnews that President Ashraf Ghani will soon meet with ambassadors of Iran and India and a representative from the US to discuss the issues around Chabahar port.
Afghanistan sees Chabahar port as the best alternative to Pakistan for transit of goods.
The CEO’s office said they hope the tension between the US and Iran will not adversely affect Afghanistan-Iran trade ties.
“We hope that the US-Iran issue will not have a negative impact on our trade ties with Iran,” CEO deputy spokesman Jawed Faisal said.
Banks and financial institutions have also been affected and some economic analysts said these institutions will not support the project due to sanctions.
The Indian-backed Chabahar port complex is being developed as part of a new transportation corridor for land-locked Afghanistan that could potentially open the way for millions of dollars in trade and cut its dependence on Pakistan.