Chazabeh Border with Iraq to be reopened on Thursday

July 21, 2020 - 15:10

TEHRAN- Iran’s Chazabeh Border with Iraq will be reopened on Thursday, a local official in Iranian southwestern Khuzestan Province announced. Governor of Dasht-e Azadegan County Hamid Sielavi said that transit of commodities will be resumed through Chazabeh Border as of July 23, after a five-month lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, IRNA reported.

He made the remarks on Monday, adding that after holding some meetings between the provincial and Iraqi officials and resolving problems and bilateral obligations, including the observance of health protocols, the two sides agreed to reopen the border on Thursday.

In relevant remarks on July 11, Iranian Customs Administration spokesman Rouhollah Latifi said that border closure, due to coronavirus epidemic, remained only with two neighboring countries.

“Iran is doing trade exchange with all neighboring states, except for two countries”, Latifi said at the time.

“The remaining borders will reopen with observing protective and health instructions in coordination with two neighboring states”, he added.

“Four land border crossings of Sarakhs, Bajgiran, Lotfabad and Incheborun with Turkmenistan in Northeastern Iran are still closed, but, Sarakhs and Incheborun cross-border terminals are open as they have railroad connections as well, Latifi noted.

As for the Iraqi borders, he underlined that normal trade will be resumed at Sumar border market with Iraq in a few days”, Latifi said and expressed hope that Khosravi and Chazabeh border markets with Iraq would soon reopen after agreement on enforcing health protocols.

He further noted that the Iraqi government started reopening the border points step by step to fulfill its people's basic needs.

Earlier this month, the head of Iraq's Border Ports Authority Omar Al-Waeli announced that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi had ordered trade exchanges with Iran to be resumed in Mandali and Shalamcheh border markets.

Al-Waeli added that accordingly, 250 shipments from Iran will enter Iraq daily for two days a week through Shalamcheh border in Basra and Mandali in Diyala province, IRNA reported.

Preventive measures against coronavirus should be taken in health departments of the two provinces to ensure the safety of workers and incoming goods, he said.

The official reiterated that only goods exchanges are permissible and passengers will never be allowed to enter the border crossings.

In mid-June, the Iraqi government agreed to reopen Zarbatiyeh (Mehran) border crossing to import goods from Iran for two days a week, and trade is currently underway at that border crossing.

Iraq's Border Ports Authority closed border crossings with Iran and its neighbors in mid-March to prevent the outbreak of the coronavirus.

During a meeting between Iran's Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi and Manhal Aziz Al-Khabbaz, Iraq’s new minister of industry and minerals, in Baghdad on June 24, the two sides discussed expansion of trade and industrial cooperation.

Masjedi congratulated the Iraqi official on his appointment as industry and minerals minister, expressing hope that industrial ties and cooperation between the two countries would expand under his leadership.

Further in the meeting, both officials urged expansion of ties in various areas including the auto industry, launching joint industrial parks, and other industrial and mining areas.

The officials also discussed holding the two countries’ joint economic committee meeting and Iran's investment in manufacturing tractors, buses, and minibusses in Iraq.

The economic and political relations between Iran and Iraq have increased significantly in the past few years and the two neighbors are seeking ways to facilitate financial transactions and boost their trade ties.

The two countries have it on the agenda to increase the value of their bilateral trade to $20 billion by 2021.

In mid-June, the two sides decided on the ways of implementing an agreement for using Iran’s export revenues in Iraq for importing basic goods from the country.

According to the Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati, under the framework of the mentioned agreement, Iran will use its gas and electricity export revenues which amount at several billion dollars a year in addition to CBI resources in Iraq, for importing its required goods from the country.

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