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EghtesadOnline: In a directive addressed to transportation companies and businesspeople, the Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, affiliated with the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, has banned Iranian freight forwarders from entering the Karabakh region and the city of Lachin through Armenia.

The directive was sent to Iranian companies working in that region on Tuesday, stressing that Azerbaijan considers entry to those regions through borders other than those approved by the Azerbaijan government a violation of its territorial integrity.

“Any other form of entry into those territories from neighboring Armenia would be regarded as trespassing by Azerbaijan and could entail legal risks,” Mohammad Javad Hedayati, director general of Transit and International Transportation Affairs Bureau of Iran’s Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, said in a letter to the trade unions of international transport companies on Oct. 20, Mehr News Agency reported.

According to the directive, given the sensitivity of the issue and its consequences, as well as the importance of respecting Azerbaijan’s official borders and territorial rules, Iranian transportation companies, drivers and citizens have been required to avoid commuting to Karabakh and Lachin through Armenia. 

Iran’s Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization has also asked transportation companies to avoid signing trade contracts with and issuing waybills to the two aforementioned regions.     

As Caspian News reported, in early September, Azerbaijan began to levy customs duties from Iranian cargo carriers for using the Azerbaijani section of the road between the Armenian towns of Kapan and Goris. According to Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee, foreign vehicles entering or leaving the country must pay a road tax and an international transport fee.

On Sept. 15, the Azerbaijani border guards detained two Iranian drivers for crossing into Azerbaijan from Armenia. After this, Armenia's State Security Service temporarily closed the Goris-Kapan road for Iranian lorries. 

The Azerbaijani State Customs Committee announced on Oct. 21 that the two lorry drivers were handed over to Iran "based on humanitarian principles, mutual respect and good-neighborly relations and showing goodwill”.

The Goris-Kapan road is a part of the main route between Iran and Armenia. The 21-km Azerbaijani section of the road had been handed over to Azerbaijan, following the autumn 2020 Second Karabakh War.

On Sept. 12, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that it had sent letters to the Russian Defense Ministry and the command of the peacekeeping force regarding the illegal entry of vehicles belonging to other countries into Azerbaijani territory where the Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed.

The ministry said these cases were in violation of the Moscow-brokered statement that ended the 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in November 2020.

 

 

Iran cargo Karabakh