Iranian port project poses a dilemma for U.S.

The Wall Street Journal |Bill Spindle and Rajesh Roy: A port being developed in the southern Iranian city of Chabahar underscores some of the dilemmas U.S. policy makers face in implementing sanctions against Tehran.

Strategically located on the Gulf of Oman and named for an Iranian revolutionary war hero, the Shahid Beheshti Port is exactly the sort of Iranian economic development the Trump administration wants to stop with sanctions that kick in on Nov. 5.

Those measures aim to punish Iran for what the U.S. sees as unacceptable behavior in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere. They follow the Trump administration’s decision this year to withdraw from an international deal struck with Iran in 2015 to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Once completed, the port—a small part of which started initial operations in December—could help Iran by strengthening economic ties with South and Central Asia, providing an export point for its oil beyond the Persian Gulf and functioning as a strategic military asset.

 

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