(KABUL, Afghanistan) — The U.S. effort to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions may have hit a bump in the road because of Afghanistan.
President Obama is attempting to pressure Tehran with tougher sanctions that include curbing oil imports from Iran that many of Washington’s allies have agreed to go along with. The penalties include punishing foreign banks that import Iranian oil.
However, Afghanistan is asking the White House if it can be given special dispensation from the sanctions.
Afghanistan’s minister of commerce and industries says that his country is in a unique position because it imports 50 percent of its oil from Iran with other energy fuels, mostly natural gas, coming from Russia and other countries.
The U.S. may have to give in to Kabul’s request since it desperately wants Afghanistan to become more self-sufficient in order to facilitate the eventual military withdrawal planned for 2014.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN