Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on Tuesday said that Afghan traders are bringing in fewer goods from Europe and Turkey via Iran in the wake of Washington’s new sanctions against Tehran.
According to traders, this has had a negative impact on Afghanistan-Iran trade ties.
The ACCI said not only were Afghan traders suffering but foreign traders were also feeling the pinch as their trade volume through Iran’s Bandar-e-Abbas and Chabahar ports to Afghanistan has dropped considerably.
ACCI officials said this is because foreign companies are afraid of the repercussions they could face if dealing through or with Iran.
The officials said however Afghan traders had plans to increase the volume of imports and exports to Iran, China and European countries through Bandar-e-Abbas and Chabahar ports, but following the new US sanctions on Tehran, the situation has changed.
“Our traders are afraid that if they export goods to China and European countries through Chabahar Port, they might face with challenges in transferring money. Although it is has not been said officially which parts of the sanctions will affect our transit ties, our traders are concerned and this issue should be made clear,” Mir Zaman Popal, head of exports development department at ACCI said.
According to ACCI officials, after the implementation of US sanctions on Iran it is possible that Iran’s banking relationships will be cut with the world and problems will be created in money transfer and that Afghan traders are now more wary about trading with and through Iran.
Meanwhile a number of economists and banking affairs analysts said US is monitoring Iran’s banking transfers and its trade deals with the rest of the world adding that traders are afraid of possible problems that might occur in the future.
“All the transit companies that go through Iran, will be prosecuted and they might become subjected to fines. No company wants to generate an income through Iran by transiting goods throughthe country and being subjected to the US,” Sayed Massoud, an economic affairs analyst said.
Following US sanctions on Iran which has affected Afghanistan-Iran trade ties, ACCI urges government to accelerate efforts around the Lapis Lazuli Corridor which is the best way for trade and transit with Turkey and Europe.
Meanwhile reports indicate that by next month the US’s new sanctions on Iran will be enforced completely – a move that has sparked serious concern among Afghan traders.