Thursday, 3 February 2011

Iran and Afghanistan sign pact to improve border trade

The Afghan government says it has signed a MoU with Iran to improve cross-border trade following last month's blockade of fuel trucks headed into Afghanistan.

Iran had restricted fuel deliveries to Afghanistan after discovering that some of the fuel transited to the country was being supplied to US-led forces.

Since March 2010, about 400 tons of fuel has been transited through Iran to Afghanistan. Iran started blocking fuel trucks' entrance into Iran in late December. 2,500 fuel trucks were affected, and the price of fuel in Afghanistan allegedly jumped 70 per cent.

On Monday 31st January, however, relations appeared to be on the mend, as Afghan Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal signed the MoU in Tehran. The Afghan ambassador to Tehran, Obaidullah Obaid, thanked Iran for allowing the transfer of fuel to the country and promised that the supplies would only be used by the Afghan people, according to Iran's Press TV.

Zakhilwal told AP that the two countries have agreed to expand business, trade, and the transit of goods over their common border.

Source: Associated Press, Press TV

For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.

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