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Turkey develops formula to keep up trade with Iran

Turkey has developed a formula to continue cross-border trade with Iran despite a travel ban due to the coronavirus, the country’s Hurriyet newspaper reports.

Under the plan, Turkish truck drivers would park their trailers at the border gate where they will be taken by Iranian drivers and driven into the country.
The formula, Hurriyet said, has been drawn out by the International Transporters Association (UND), an umbrella organization of the trailer truck drivers, and Turkey’s health ministry and communicated to truck drivers and transportation companies.
Relations between Iran and Turkey have grown closer under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan despite the most draconian sanctions which the United States has imposed on the Islamic Republic.
Iran and Turkey have agreed to step up their economic cooperation and raise their annual trade to $30 billion.
Ankara has denounced unilateral US sanctions on Tehran, saying it is determined to maintain trade with the Islamic Republic.
Iran is a key gas supplier to Turkey which receives 353 billion cubic feet per year under a 25-year agreement signed in 2001.
Hamid Hosseini, a member of the Iran-Iraq chamber of commerce, also said Tuesday Iranian exports to the Arab country have resumed after problems related to the coronavirus outbreak were sorted out.
“Many trucks are currently crossing the border… and there is no particular problem with exporting Iranian goods to Iraq,” he said.
Chemicals, building materials, metal products and ironware constitute the bulk of Iran’s exports to Iraq.
A senior official at Iran’s Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization said Sunday trade with Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Russia continue despite worries about the spread of the coronavirus.
Manouchehr Salmanzadeh said border trade with Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Iraq and with Russia via Azerbaijan is carried out by trucks without any restriction.
The official said there has been no significant change in border trade with the countries compared to the week before the outbreak of the virus in Iran.
Border trade with Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Turkey, however, has been suspended, but it will resume in the coming days, Salmanzadeh said.
Chairman of the Iran-Iraq joint chamber of commerce Yahya Al-e Es’haq also dismissed “fabricated” reports about the closure of the two countries’ joint border, saying Iranian trucks continue shipping goods to the Arab country via all border crossings.
The news about the closure of the Iran-Iraq border is fabricated by the “enemies of Islamic Republic of Iran” in line with their psychological war on Tehran, he added.
“It is natural for the US to do its utmost to isolate Iran and contain its economy, but it will definitely fail,” Al-e Es’haq further said.
In addition to natural gas and electricity, Iraq imports a wide range of goods from Iran including food, agricultural products, home appliances, air conditioners, livestock, construction material and plastic products.
Officials say Iran is pushing forth with a 2025 vision plan to raise its exports to Iraq to $20 billion a year despite US pressures on Baghdad to keep Tehran at an arm’s length.



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