Ramin Mehmanparast

Ramin Mehmanparast, spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry announced that a certain group is trying to strain Iran-Afghanistan relations and added that the fuel trucks, which are said to have been blocked by Iran, were in fact allowed passage into to Afghanistan last week.

In the past weeks, a number of Afghan organizations have spoken out against Iran’s block on the transiting fuel trucks headed for Afghanistan and called for cutting off business relation with Iran.

A rally call from the Afghan National Coalition Party was answered by hundreds of Afghans last week who demonstrated in front of Iranian embassy in Kabul chanting anti-Iran slogans and condemning the block on the fuel trucks.

Ramin Mehmanparast maintained that the demonstration was tied with “a movement that is working hard to destroy Iran- Afghanistan relations and has made serious efforts in the form of a party and an individual.”

He added that these actions will mot affect the relations between the two countries.

In the past two months 1900 fuel trucks from Turkmenistan and Iraq heading for Afghanistan have been stopped in Iranian territory.

Najibollah Kabuli, leader of the Afghan National Coalition Party had told the demonstrators that if Iran does not end this blockade, Iranian goods must be boycotted in Afghanistan.

Ramin Mehmanparast maintained that the issue of the transiting fuel to Afghanistan was discussed by representatives from both countries. “The issue was solved,” he added, “and last week the fuel was given passage to Afghanistan.”

Despite the claims from Iranian foreign ministry, yesterday Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry also spoke out against the stopping of fuel trucks in Iran and suggested an end to trade and commerce with Iran if the problem persisted.

Afghan analysts have said that Iran fears that the fuel is headed for NATO forces, a statement denied by both Afghan and NATO authorities.

 

The spokesman for the foreign ministry also went on to inform reporters that Iran will meet with G5+1 representatives on January 21 and 22 in Istanbul.

He also touched on the issue of the two detained journalists in Iran saying that their cases are in the final stages of investigation and anticipated a final verdict from the judiciary in the near future.

The two German journalists were arrested in Iran while they were trying to interview the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to stoning. They are accused of carrying out journalistic activities without carrying the necessary visa permit for journalists.