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India port operator cancels ban on Iranian cargo

The Adani Ports group removes its ban on processing ships from Iran at Mundra port.

India’s largest port operator has finally lifted a ban imposed in October on cargo coming from Iran.

Iran’s semi-official ILNA news agency said in a Thursday report that Adani Ports had reversed its decision to stop processing cargo from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan at India’s western port of Mundra and other gateways operated by the group in the country.

The report contained the image of a trade advisory issued by Adani on December 8 showing the group had withdrawn a circular dated on October 11 in which it had imposed a ban on processing export and import cargoes from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan starting November 15.

The new advisory reiterated that Adani had reversed its previous decision after numerous representations were made by trade and government bodies and after the group carried out a careful scrutiny on the matter.

“... with a view to ensure seamless trade, the advisory is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect,” read a part of the new circular.

Adani runs terminal operations at Mundra, India’s largest container port. Indian government data show that imports into Mundra from Iran in July-April period had amounted to over $153 million.

Adani’s ban on Iranian cargo had caused uproar in Iran especially among the country’s trade bodies.

Iran’s embassy in New Delhi had also criticized the move as "unprofessional and imbalanced".

Authorities had insisted that Iran, a country suffering for decades of organized drug trafficking from Afghanistan, could not be blamed for a large narcotics cargo that was seized at Mundra in late September.

Indian authorities had said at the time that the cargo from Afghanistan and had been shipped from Iran’s southern port of Bandar Abbas.

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