Chazabeh border with Iraq may be reopened this week or next week

July 26, 2020 - 15:28

TEHRAN- Reopening of Iran’s Chazabeh border with Iraq, which was due to be on July 23, maybe done this [Iranian calendar] week (which ends on Friday), or next week, Iranian Customs Administration spokesman Rouhollah Latifi announced on Sunday.

Last week on Monday, a local official in Iranian southwestern Khuzestan Province announced that Chazabeh Border would be reopened on Thursday.

Governor of Dasht-e Azadegan County Hamid Sielavi said that transit of commodities would be resumed through Chazabeh Border as of July 23, after a five-month lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

He said 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, Latifi said that border closure, due to the 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.

MA/MA

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