Iran should lift border fuel tanker blockade: Kabul

Despite an agreement between Tehran & Afghan, trucks are still being prevented from crossing the border, Kabul said.

Last Updated: Jan 03, 2011, 22:17 PM IST

Kabul: Afghanistan on Monday urged Iran to lift a
ban on hundreds of fuel tankers crossing into its territory,
accusing Tehran of stalling on a pledge to resolve the
situation.

Despite an agreement reached between Tehran and Afghan
Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim last week, hundreds of
trucks are still being prevented from crossing the border,
Kabul said.

"Today the problem was discussed in the cabinet meeting,"
President Hamid Karzai`s spokesman Waheed Omer told a press
conference.

"Afghanistan`s cabinet expressed regret that despite
efforts, despite the vice president`s visit to Iran and
despite it appearing that the problem was solved, it has not
been," Omer said.

Tehran had said the ban was imposed because it believed
the fuel carried by the tankers was being used to supply US
and other international troops fighting the Taliban in
Afghanistan.

Omer said that Karzai had ordered his commerce minister,
Anwarul Haq Ahadi, to talk to the Iranian government.

"The commerce minister is assigned to raise this issue
with the Islamic Republic of Iran and pass on the Afghan
cabinet`s message to the friendly country of Iran.

"We hope this problem is solved soon. Further delays will
increase the problems of Afghanistan," Omer said.

Around 30 per cent of Afghanistan`s fuel is thought to
come through transport routes from Iran, with much of the rest
passing through the central Asian republics which border the
strife-torn country.

PTI