Exchange in Iran-Afghanistan borders, normal: Official

IRNA – Border exchange between the northeastern Iranian province of South Khorasan and the neighboring country of Afghanistan is normal despite the recent news about a ban on exports from Iran, a provincial official announced on Tuesday.

About 570 Iranian and Afghan lorries went back and forth during the past two days in Mahiroud border in northeast of Iran, Mohammad-Reza Fakhr, director of the provincial border checkpoint markets, told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

About 250 of the lorries have been recognized in Mahiroud in the second day, and the reduction in the number is related to the three-day holiday on September 19, 20 and 21 in Iran, the official said.

Commenting on the issue, Fakhr noted that no problem has been created for Iran-Afghanistan trade exchanges.

Conditions in the border checkpoint markets are normal, the provincial official added.

On September 15, certain media released a copy of a letter which was signed by the director of Farah Customs, showing Afghanistan has imposed restrictions on imports of oil products, cement, iron, ceramics and tiles from the Iranian northeastern region where is a joint border point with western Afghan Farah Province.

One day after the reports were released on prohibition of imports from Iran, they were dismissed by head of Afghanistan-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce Mozaffar Alikhani.

Ban has only been placed on imports via Farah border in western Afghanistan, Alikhani said adding such prohibition is imposed to prevent violation of Customs’ rules and it is not related to the US sanctions against Iran.

Elaborating on the issue, Alikhani said that although Afghan and Iranian Customs offices are systematically connected to each other, and the officials at the Afghan Customs can watch online information about exports from and imports to the country, Farah Customs does not have such system, so some Afghan businesspersons do not give full report on their imports in order to pay lower customs tariffs.

Iran and Afghanistan share a 945-km border, about half of it is situated in South Khorasan Province.

Iran has exported some 2.5 billion dollars of various goods to Afghanistan last year.