EghtesadOnline: The closure of Khorramshahr-Basra passenger shipping line is not related to recent conflicts in the Iraqi city, the deputy head of Ports and Maritime Organization said.
Hadi Haqshenas added that the shipping line has shut down due to a drop in the number of passengers, Mehr News Agency reported. He noted that the shipping line will get back on track during travel peaks.
The passenger shipping line between Iran’s southwestern port of Khorramshahr and Iraq’s Basra Port was opened in 2014, mostly for transporting Iranian pilgrims to the holy shrines in Iraq. The voyage between Khorramshahr to Basra takes 45 minutes.
Iranian and Iraqi officials have said in reaction to reports that Shalamcheh border crossing was closed following the recent unrest in Basra that border crossing connecting Iran’s southwestern Khuzestan Province to Basra is open and operating as usual, according to Financial Tribune.
IRNA quoted an informed Iranian source and an unnamed Iraqi official on Saturday as saying that any news regarding the closure of Shalamcheh is false.
Director of Shalamcheh Border Terminal has told IRNA that foreign and, most notably, Iraqi visitors are using this international crossing, while commercial activities are underway at the border.
“The Shalamcheh Border Terminal is functioning for foreign and Iranian citizens, and visitors and business activity are not facing any problems at this border,” Ahmed Nasser was also quoted as saying.
He added that on average, 400 and 600 people cross Shalamcheh border daily.
Angry protesters set fire to the Iranian Consulate in Iraq on Friday evening. Protests have been staged in the past two months against the inefficient public services and job vacancies.
However, the demonstrations have turned violent lately with protesters setting government buildings and diplomatic missions in Basra on fire.