How will US sanctions on Russia and Iran impact the S-400 Air Defence System Purchase and Chabahar Port Project in Iran? A new US law (CAATSA) might hamper India’s relations with Russia and Iran and impact the S-400 Air Defence System that India plans to buy from Russia, besides the much-hyped Chabahar Port, designed to enhance trade with Afghanistan.
US President Donald Trump signed a new law, ‘The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’, CAATSA, last year, levying sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. Under this new law, US will enforce secondary sanctions on those nations who conduct business or trade with any of the primary sanctioned countries.
India, which is one of the largest defence partners of Russia, will get immensely affected by CAATSA which is meant to penalize Russia for Annexation of Crimea, Participation in the Syrian Civil War and the alleged interference in the US presidential elections.
The biggest concern for India would be the S-400 Triumf Air Defence Systems which India plans to purchase from Russia. The S-400 is one of the worlds most advanced Air Defence Systems and has the capability to detect and destroy ballistic missiles, drones, fighter jets, in midair.
CAATSA is also likely to have an impact on India funded Chabahar Port in Iran. The Chabahar port in Iran is being developed as part of a new transportation passageway for land-locked Afghanistan that could possibly open the way for billions of dollars in trade and reduce reliance on Pakistan. India has already invested close to a billion dollar on Chabahar Port and for India to realize its ambition to get access to Central Asia including Afghanistan, Chabahar Port holds the key. How will India balance the US against Iran and Russia is to be seen.