“Some South Asia observers have argued that the Trump administration’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal will hurt U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. Their reasoning: it reduces the viability of the Iranian port of Chabahar, which India aims to use as an alternate gateway to Afghanistan, bypassing the land corridor through Pakistan. Chabahar, these observers believe, is crucial to decreasing Afghanistan’s reliance on Pakistan for trade and expanding the exports of the aid and narcotics-dependent country.
The reimposition of sanctions on Iran and the danger of secondary sanctions will indeed inhibit foreign investment in Chabahar. But the port project is already struggling. For over a year, New Delhi has struggled to secure a private sector partner for operating the port terminal, reissuing the tender several times.
But not only is the promise of Chabahar overblown, pushing Afghanistan’s economy toward greater integration with Iran could increase Kabul’s dependence on Tehran.”
Read more at The National Interest
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