Iran, Turkey fail to resolve dispute over transit truck fees
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 7
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran and Turkey have failed to resolve the disputes over transit truck fees, the Islamic Republic's Fars news agency reported Dec. 7.
A Turkish delegation visited Tehran on Dec. 6 and held meetings with officials from Iran's Roads and Urban Development Ministry, as well as the Islamic Republic Customs administration to discuss the issue.
However, the delegation left Tehran on Dec. 7 without any significant result, according to the report.
On Dec. 1, Iran started sealing fuel tanks of Turkish trucks coming in Iran on the border checkpoints.
The decision was made to solve the dispute on the transit fees between the two countries, since fuel prices in Iran are much cheaper than in Turkey.
Upon the decision Iran has stopped supplying Turkish trucks with its cheap fuel.
Earlier, Turkish media outlets quoted an official with the Islamic Republic's Foreign Ministry as saying on Dec. 4 that Tehran suspended for a week the sealing of fuel tanks imposed on Turkish trucks to make the necessary adjustments.
However the head of Turkey's International Transporters' Association, Fatih Sener, stated that Iran continued to treat Turkish trucks unfairly at several border gates.
Iran and Turkey are at odds over truck transit fees. Over the past years, Iran has been charging 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.
Although Turkish Transport, Maritime and Communication Minister Lutfi Elvan said that Turkey respects all agreements with Iran, adding that Tehran's response should be similar.
The twofold increase in transit fees for Turkish trucks entering Iran is illegal, the minister said.
The price of 1 liter of diesel fuel in Turkey is 2.12 TRY (the rate of $1 is equal to 2.26 TRY). In Iran, 1 liter of diesel fuel costs 2,500 IRR (the rate of $1 is equal to 26,900 IRR).
Umid Niayesh is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh