Milak crossing reopened at Iran-Afghanistan border
16 August 2020- A number of trucks entered Milak border crossing into Iran to mark its reopening after repeated opening and closing last week, according to Spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration Rouhollah Latifi.
A compromise has been reached following a meeting between Iranian and Afghan officials at Milak border terminal in southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province, Mehr News Agency quoted Latifi as saying.
Over the past three weeks, the movement of trucks and goods carriers was delayed due to a strike by Afghan truckers and their blockade of the return route of Iranian trucks and the retaliation of Iranians.
Sistan-Baluchestan Security Council has ordered the impoundment of over 130 Afghan trucks smuggling fuel from Iran to the neighboring country for three months. Some Afghan transportation companies and truckers closed the return route of Iranian trucks at Zaranj-Milak border crossing in protest against the decision. In return, Iran restricted the return route of Afghan trucks to their country as well.
Border officials of the two countries underscored the importance of cross-border trade and finally Milak border was reopened on August 6. Afghan truckers were seemingly not satisfied with the outcome of meeting and they closed the route again on August 10.
Afghanistan was Iran’s fourth export destination in the four months ending July 21. It purchased 2.11 million tons of goods worth $713 million, accounting for 8% of Iran’s total export in the period.
Besides Milak (which is the main trade corridor between Iran and Afghanistan), the two countries have two other border crossings, namely Mahiroud in South Khorasan province and Dogharoun in Taybad County of Khorasan Razavi Province.
According to Hamid Mohammadi, an official with Road Maintenance and Transportation Office of Khorasan Razavi, Afghanistan has transported 15,000 tons of its products by 610 trucks through Dogharoun to Iran’s southern borders and western border from March 20 to July 21.
“Since March 20 up until now, 256 trucks have transported goods from Chabahar Port to Dogharoun compared with 11 trucks in the last [fiscal] year [March 2019-20],” he was quoted as saying by IRNA on Friday.