Iran withdraws sealing Turkish trucks’ fuel tanks

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 13

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iran has withdrawn its former decision on sealing fuel tanks of Turkish trucks coming in Iran to "maintain mutual ties," the country's Mehr news agency reported Dec. 13.

Considering the importance of mutual relations and economic ties between Iran and Turkey as well as problems related to upcoming cold season in the border checkpoints, Iran decided to suspend sealing Turkish trucks' fuel tanks, head of Transit Department at Iran's Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization (RMMTO), Mohammad Javad Atrchian said.

The suspension came to force on Dec. 9 and will continue till achieving a comprehensive agreement on all mutual transportation issues, he added.

The decision was made after a meeting of the two sides' deputy roads ministers on Dec. 6, Atrchian said, adding Iran has accepted the Turkish side demands on the issue and the situation returned before Dec. 1.

On Dec. 1, Iran started sealing fuel tanks of Turkish trucks on the border checkpoints 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 Tehran stopped supplying Turkish trucks with its cheap fuel.

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 2.2823 TRY). In Iran, 1 liter of diesel fuel costs 2,500 IRR (the rate of $1 is equal to 26,932 IRR).

Umid Niayesh is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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