EghtesadOnline: Spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration Rouhollah Latifi has given the latest account of Iran's commercial exchanges through border crossings with neighboring countries, as the outbreak of the new coronavirus had restricted the flow of goods through land borders.
Referring to the trade status with Iraq, Latifi said on Monday that despite earlier media reports, the reopening of Chazzabeh border crossing with the Arab neighbor, which was scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed by a week because of the absence of Iraq’s quarantine team, IRNA reported.
Chazzabeh border crossing in the southern Khuzestan Province has been closed for five months now, following the outbreak of coronavirus.
Latifi said the Iraqi government has given the green light for reopening Sumar Border Terminal (known as Mandali on the Iraqi side) in Qasr-e Shirin County of Kermanshah Province, but the resumption of activities awaits the Iraqi authorization.
The Arabic-language news agency Al-Malumah quoted Iraqi officials as saying that Mandali has resumed trade operations on Sunday, although they did not elaborate on the crossing’s activities.
Latifi added that Iraq also reopened its Manzarieh border crossing with Iran (called Khosravi on the Iranian side) on July 23.
“Iranian commodities can now be transported to Iraq through the border crossing that links Iran’s Kermanshah Province to Iraq’s Diyala Governorate,” he added.
The spokesman stressed that no restrictions have been placed on the gateway’s commercial exchanges.
Iraq partially reopened its southern Shalamcheh border crossing with Iran on July 7 after more than three months to combat the viral outbreak.
The crossing was being opened only for the trade of foodstuffs, allowing in some 500 trucks from Iran on Wednesdays and Sundays, an official said.
Iraq closed its international borders and provincial boundaries in March, except for the delivery of essential goods such as food to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The crossings of Mehran in Ilam Province and Khorramshahr in Khuzestan Province are also open to trade, Latifi added.
Mehran border terminal was reopened on June 9. Transshipment of Iranian products through this border crossing is allowed on Mondays and Wednesdays, Otaghiranonline.ir reported.
As for Iranian crossings into the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, namely Parvizkhan, Bashmaq and Tamarchin, they have been open all along.
The border crossings of Siran Band and Sardasht-Kileh are also open.
Pakistan Border Opens Amid Restrictions
Latifi noted that all land border crossings with Pakistan are currently active.
“However, restrictions are still in place for the export of hydrocarbon products to Pakistan through Mirjaveh border crossing,” he said.
“150 trucks loaded with hydrocarbon products are waiting for the Islamabad government’s permission to enter Pakistan.”
Based on earlier reports, Pishin border crossing, a gateway to neighboring Pakistan, reopened on May 2.
The border crossing, which is located in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province, is now open for trading food products every other day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, Mehr News Agency reported in May.
A maximum of 20 trucks and 40-50 pickup and mini trucks are allowed to pass through.
The IRICA spokesman said Rimdan border crossing, also on the Iran-Pakistan frontier in Sistan-Baluchestan Province is open.
Pakistan first closed its eastern and western borders with Iran, Afghanistan and India on March 15 to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
Regarding borders with Afghanistan, Latifi said all three crossings of Milak, Mahiroud and Dogharoun are open for trade.
Referring to the border status with Turkmenistan, Latifi said all road borders remain closed and trade with Turkmenistan is being carried out via railroad through Incheh Borun and Sarakhs.
He noted that trade with northern neighbors is still underway through Caspian Sea ports, namely Anzali, Astara, Caspian, Noshahr, Fereydounkenar and Amirabad.
Marine routes to Russia and Azerbaijan are open, while rail routes to Azerbaijan are also operating.
The border crossings of Bileh Savar and Jolfa are active for road trade with the Republic of Azerbaijan, he added.
Iran-Armenia trade is also underway via Nurduz border in East Azarbaijan Province.
No Air Connection With Turkey
Latifi said commercial exchanges with Turkey are carried out via Razi railroad, adding that land roads are also active.
However, he added, flights between Iran and Turkey have not resumed operation yet.
“Turkey cancelled flight permits to and from Iran and Afghanistan last week amid the outbreak of coronavirus,” Reza Jafarzadeh, the spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran, told Fars News Agency.
Turkey had gradually restarted international flights as of June 11, after it eased lockdown measures, Daily Sabah reported.
Iran’s trade with Turkey totaled $803.59 million during January-May to register a decrease of 77.62% compared with the corresponding months of 2019, data released by Turkish Statistical Institute show.
Iran exported $331.67 million worth of goods to Turkey during the five months under review, to see an 87.1% year-on-year drop.
Imports stood at $471.9 million, down 53.85% YOY.