US says, no waivers to India for Russian S400s, Iranian Chabahar port

AMMAN, Jordan _ In this photo taken Sunday, August 28, 2016, the U.S. ambassador to Jordan, Alice Wells, addresses three Syrian families ahead of their departure to the United States. The families are part of a year-long U.S. resettlement program, and Wells said the target of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees will be reached Monday. Close to 5 million Syrians have fled civil war in their country since 2011, and most struggle to survive in neighboring host countries. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

WASHINGTON: The United States of America on Monday said that no decision has been taken yet on extending a waiver to India either for the purchase of S-400 Triumf missile system from Russia or a carve-out for the strategic Chabahar port in Iran.

Both Russia and Iran come under sanctions by the US with the implementation of CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) and the pullout of US from the six-country nuclear deal, JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actin) with Iran.

Briefing reporters through a teleconference, Ambassador Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, US State Department said that no decision on S-400 was made but that the US understands India’s “legacy” issues in the area of defence with Russia.

“We continue to have conversations with the Indian leadership. We are working to hold Russia accountable for its behaviour and Secretary Pompeo said these sanctions are not intended to adversely impact countries like India. They are designed to impact Russia”, she said.

“There have been no decisions to provide waiver, there certainly aren’t country specific waivers in the legislation and would be on individual case-by-case basis,” she added.

On Iran and the sanctions, India has been in conversations with the US seeking a carve-out for the critical Chabahar port.

For now, Wells says that America is considering India’s advice even as they expect all countries to reduce their crude oil imports from Iran to zero “as quickly as possible”. The sanctions would kick in on November 4.