"This policy of isolating Iran runs directly counter to U.S. interests in Afghanistan," said Marcus Chenevix, MENA researcher at TS Lombard. By potentially forcing Afghanistan to sever links with one of its largest trading partners, he said, "the Trump administration is hitting the beleaguered Afghan economy with yet another shock at a time when the government is already struggling against a reinvigorated Taliban." A trilateral memorandum of understanding signed in 2016 between India, Iran and Afghanistan committed $21 billion to the project — $9 billion for the actual port in Chabahar, and the remaining $21 billion for developing Afghanistan's iron ore export capabilities. "This deal was all about Afghanistan," Chenevix said.
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