Row over truck transit fee grows between Iran, Turkey
TEHRAN - Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoA crisis between Turkey and Iran over truck transit fees has heated up again amid a new hike in passage fees implemented over the weekend.
Tehran said Turkey’s latest hike in border passage fees was against the law and that Iran would “reserve its right to apply the rule of reciprocity” during a press meeting on Oct. 13.
“Turkey and Iran inked an agreement on road transportation in 1994. Turkey violated the law by doubling the passage fee for Iranian trucks to enter over the Turkish border,” Iranian Deputy Transport Minister Davood Keshaverziyan said at the meeting in Tehran.
Turkish representatives have been objecting to the $750 transit pass fee, which Iran applies to Turkish trucks, but Iran has refused to make any change.
Turkey subsequently increased its transit fee on Iranian trucks to $750 on Oct. 11, prompting Iran to double its fee to $1,500 a few hours later. Turkey doubled its fee on Iranian trucks to $1,500 following Iran’s move, adding that it had begun charging 25 euros per 100 kilometers for fuel from Iranian trucks as Iran does to Turkish trucks. More hikes are expected by sector representatives from each country.
Due to the high transit fees on Turkish trucks passing through Iran to Azerbaijan and other neighboring countries, together with high fuel prices, 80 percent of Turkish exporters opt for Iranian trucks over Turkish trucks, a leading Turkish transportation association’s representative told daily Hürriyet on the weekend.
Iranian representatives said fuel prices were much lower in Iran due to state subsidies in the country, adding that the difference between the two countries’ fuel prices could be taken as a transit fee, as stipulated in the fifth article of the agreement between Turkey and Iran.
“Yes, we have taken 25 euros per 100 kilometers from Turkish trucks for the last 20 years based on the fifth article, as fuel prices are much lower in our country than they are in Turkey,” Keshaverziyan said, adding that Turkey now wanted to seal the gas tanks of Turkish trucks before they enter Iran to prevent them from buying gas in Iran while asking Iran not to take an extra fee for the difference in fuel prices between the two countries.
“Turkey has already sealed the gas tanks of Iranian trucks to prevent the negative effects of the entrance of cheap fuel into Turkey. We cannot agree on sealing Turkish trucks’ gas tanks and not taking an extra fee for the difference between the fuel prices between Turkey and Iran,” he said.