Former head of UN mission to Afghanistan Carlo Harbo especially for Trend
As the NATO-Iran dialogue that took place last Thursday is the first contact for a long time [since 30 years] I doubt that there has been specific discussions. International conference on Afghanistan took place in Hague on March 30. Iranian representatives also attended the meeting.
The meeting in The Hague took place yesterday and was also of general character. However in view of the problems with Manas Iran has been mentioned as an alternative. The US general position has been that it would be acceptable if individual NATO countries could negotiate transit arrangement with Iran for non-military goods. The Iran route has been used for many years and several countries have normal contacts with Iran.
One problem is that most Iranian banks are blacklisted and it is difficult to conduct normal commercial transactions. The Revolutionary Guards control many commercial enterprises and banks. However if there is a will these problems could be overcome.
The NATO forces in Afghanistan need 80 -90 containers every day and more in the future so it would be win-win situation for everybody if some of these could find an alternative route.
The Iranian route is better than overland via the Caspian Sea and comparable to the Karachi route in most respects.
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