Khosravi Border between Iran and Iraq was reopened on Thursday after several months of closing due to the coronavirus pandemic, the spokesman of Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) announced.
Ruhollah Latifi said, “The border crossing resumed operation on Thursday following the Iraqi side’s announcement. Iranian goods can be transported to Iraq through this border, and no restriction has been already announced”, Mehr news agency reported.
On July 10, Farzad Piltan, the director-general of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO)’s Office of Arabian and African Countries, had announced that Iran and Iraq were going to resume trade exchanges through Mandali and Shalamcheh borders following the reopening of the mentioned crossings from the Iraqi side.
“The Iraqi government has agreed to reopen the Shalamcheh and Mandali borders after the joint trade borders with the Kurdistan Region were reopened earlier,” the official said.
Following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, all trade borders between Iran and Iraq were closed, however with the partial control of the pandemic’s first wave, trade borders between the two countries were gradually reopened, he added.
“Trade from the mentioned border crossings is going to be carried out in accordance with international health and safety protocols”, the official underscored.
Noting that declining trade with Iraq would hurt both sides, Pilten added: "Diplomatic efforts and negotiations with Iraqi officials led the Iraqi government to agree to the limited reopening of borders in Shalamcheh, and Somar, and the process of exporting from these borders will begin soon.”
He expressed hope that with the reopening of all trade borders with Iraq, the trade between the two countries will return to normal and will continue to grow.
Head of Iraq's Border Crossing Authority, Omar al-Waeli had announced on July 6 that the country's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi agreed to resume partial trade in the Mandali and Shalamcheh border markets with Iran.
"According to this decision, 250 shipments from Iran will enter Iraq for two days a week through the Shalamcheh border in Basra and Mandali border in Diyala province," al-Waeli said.
Head of Iraq's Border Crossing Authority said: "Only the exchange of goods is allowed and the entry of passengers into the border crossings for any reason is prevented."
In mid-March, the Iraqi Border Crossing Authority closed border crossings with Iran and its neighbors to prevent the coronavirus outbreak.