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US sanctions on Iran puts negative impacts on Afghan trade

AT-KABUL: The newest sanctions the United States imposed on Iran, will put a negative impact on the business situation of Afghanistan, as Tehran is one of the largest trade partner to Kabul, said the Afghan Commerce Chamber.

Deputy head of the chamber, Khanjan Alokozai said Wednesday that Iran and Afghanistan had recently increased trades more than any other time in the past, adding that the US sanctions on Iran would harm Kabul-Tehran trade.

“This is a negative move. When a problem appears there (in Iran) we feel its negative impacts here and our economy comes under pressure. We had already demanded that as a war-hit country, Afghanistan should be free from this. Iran is a good economic partner to us in the region and this move (sanctions) puts negative impact on us,” said Alokozai.

The US president, Donald Trump signed Monday the first round of new sanctions on Iran, warning international companies and individuals having business affairs with Iran, could not have place in the US markets.

The sanctions include import-export of vehicles, passenger jets, vehicle-making machineries, gold and other precious metals as well as currency exchange.

The ceiling of Kabul-Tehran trade reaches up to 1.2 billion dollars in a year, according to the Afghan chamber of commerce. Besides that, the use of Iran’s Chabahar port is important for Afghan businessmen as a transit place.

Economic experts believe that the US realized Afghanistan’s needs and the sanctions on Iran would not harm Afghan economy. “The Afghan government understands that the United States is one of its strategic partners and they would not easily lose each other. The US and other international allies also realize Afghanistan’s needs. I am sure that the sanctions would not put impact on Kabul-Washington relations,” said Abdullah Wahedyar, an economic analyst.

Meanwhile, President Ghani’s spokesman, Haroon Chakhansoori, said that that the US sanctions on Iran would harm not only Afghanistan, but also some other countries.

But he said that Afghanistan’s economic and trade dependence to Iran and Pakistan has decreased and it has restored to the Central Asian countries.

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