Iran, Turkey agree to seal fuel tanks of transit trucks to resolve fee dispute
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.1
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran and Turkey have agreed that the Turkish trucks coming into Iran, will have their fuel tanks sealed on the border checkpoint, so that Iran wouldn't hav to fuel the vehicles with its cheap fuel, Iranian ISNA news agency reported Oct. 31.
The decision was made to solve the dispute between the two countries on the transit fees, since fuel prices in Iran are much cheaper than in Turkey.
Masoud Khansari, head of the Transportation Commission in Tehran chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture said that the two sides have agreed on the issue, adding the fuel tanks will be sealed by Iranian Customs Administration at the border checkpoint.
The agreement has not yet been made official. Khansari also criticized the sealing decision, saying it will lead to more delays at the border checkpoint and will slow down the transportation.
Iran and Turkey are at odds over trucks' transit fees. Over the past years, Iran has charged a $750 transit fee for the trucks entering the country from Turkey, while the Iranian trucks were entering Turkey for free.
Following that Turkey imposed a similar fee on Iranian trucks. But the Islamic Republic increased the fee to $1,500 on October 10.
The Iranian officials said that under an agreement signed with Turkey a few decades ago, the two sides may charge a transit fee only if there is a difference in fuel prices in the two countries.
The price of 1 liter of diesel fuel in Turkey is 2.12 TRY (the rate of $1 is equal to 2.2729 TRY). In Iran, 1 liter of diesel fuel costs 2,500 IRR (the rate of $1 is equal to 26,700 IRR).
Turkish Transport, Maritime and Communication Minister Lutfi Elvan said on October 20 the twofold increase in transit fees for Turkish trucks entering Iran is illegal.
The minister said Turkey respects all agreements with Iran, adding that Tehran's response should be similar.