When asked on the fate of Chabahar Port after the U.S. reimposed all its sanctions on Iran, the spokesperson said, "This exception relates to reconstruction assistance and economic development for Afghanistan".
The measures aim to significantly reduce Iran's oil exports - which have already fallen by around one million barrels a day since May - and cut it off from global finance.
"The US will be granting these exemptions to China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey".
India was among the eight countries that were granted temporary waiver for purchase of Iranian oil.
The United States would be better off rethinking its "unconditional support" for Saudi Arabia and Israel, which has "blinded the USA to their appalling atrocities", Zarif said.
But there was no clarity or response to whether if USA was considering waiver for Chabahar and the International North-South Trade Corridor (INSTC). India has committed $500 million to the project and $2 billion to build a railway line from Chabahar to Hajigaj in Afghanistan.
Earlier, South Korean Ambassador to Tehran Ryu Jeong-hyun said that despite many European companies leaving Iran under the pressure of US sanctions, South Korean firms understand the significance of the Iranian market and have chosen to stay.
The United States will exempt from sanctions the development of Chabahar along with an attached railway project and Iranian petroleum shipments into Afghanistan, the State Department said.
India had lobbied the USA privately and publicly for an exemption for the port citing the role it plays in Afghanistan's reconstruction.
"The president's South Asia strategy underscores our ongoing support of Afghanistan's economic growth and development as well as our close partnership with India", the state department spokesperson said.
And the U.S., the official said, seeks to "build on our close relationships with both countries as we execute a policy of maximum pressure to change the Iranian regime's destabilising policies in the region and beyond".
Adding that while the "exception" has been granted after much deliberation, the strategic importance of these projects can not be ignored. "Where Chabahar is critical to India's access to and assistance towards ensuring a stable Afghanistan, India's energy needs require a basket of energy suppliers", Pande said. "These activities are vital for the ongoing support of Afghanistan's growth and humanitarian relief".
This comes as a huge diplomatic victory for India. However, he did not give more details. The port of Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman - as Iran's sole Indian Ocean port - has emerged as a key feeder port to the INSTC.