Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Iran reopens border crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan

The five border crossings with northern Iraq that were closed by Iran last month to protest the detention of an Iranian official by U.S. forces were reopened Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

Iraq’s northern Kurdish region relies on two-way trade with Iran which supplies key goods and export routes.

The article reports that Iran “agreed to reopen the five border crossings after the Kurdish regional authorities sent a delegation to Tehran to argue that they should not be punished for a dispute with the United States.”

“Iranian foodstuffs, medicines, construction materials and other goods account for about 60% of what is used in the region…The closure of the nearby Bashmakh crossing alone affected the livelihoods of about 3,000 Iraqi drivers, laborers and merchants,” the article says, citing statements from Hassan Baqi, who heads the Chamber of Commerce in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya.

Iraq struggles with keeping a good balance between its most important allies, the United States and Iran. The country hosted two meetings this year between U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Kazemi-Qomi. But, as the article notes, “Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, accused Kazemi-Qomi over the weekend of being a member of the Quds Force, a charge denied by Tehran.”

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo said Monday that it would be “premature to talk about any more talks” until Iran ceases to provide weapons, funding and other backing to militants accused of attacking U.S. forces in Iraq. Iran denies doing so, and the U.S. military has released no conclusive evidence that the Iranian weapons it has found in Iraq were supplied by authorities in Tehran.

For full article click here



Post a Comment

<< Home