Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Iranian closing of northern border causes shortages in Kurdish Iraq

Above: A guard locks up a border crossing between Kurdish Iraq and Iran at Bashmakh yesterday.

Iran's sudden closure of its border with northern Iraq caused trucking chaos at the frontier on Tuesday, as experts warned of severe economic fallout and traders scrambled for goods.

"There are a huge number of trucks waiting to cross the border into (Iraqi) Kurdistan but the Iranians are not allowing them through," said the mayor of Joman town near the Haj Umran border post in northern Iraq.

"The trucks are carrying frozen goods such as chicken, meat and eggs which are going to spoil. We spoke to the Iranian officials but they refused to allow the border post to open," Abdul Wahid Koani told AFP...

Angry Kurdish merchants in the northern city of Arbil said they were being forced to search for other sources of foodstuffs and electronic goods, the main items imported from Iran.

"This closure will raise the prices in our markets and will cause big problems to our business all over the province, especially for those dealing in foodstuffs and household equipment," said merchant Najat Ahmed.

Read the rest at Yahoo News

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