Associated Press reports that 2500 fuel trucks destined for
Afghanistan have been stopped by Iran in the past two weeks which has led to an
unprecedented surge in the price of fuel in the country.
Over three hundred demonstrators gathered in front of the Iranian embassy in Kabul in response to a rally call form the National Coalition Party of Afghanistan, chanting slogans against Iran and calling for an end to the blockade.
Yesterday Afghanistan Traders Union accused Iran of double dealing in its commercial relationships and announced that according to their bilateral agreements and international regulations, Iran should not create obstacles for transit shipments.
Khanjan Alkozi, deputy of the Union announced that in protest to Iran's approach, he will not participate in the meeting of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) being held today.
Iran has linked the ban on the fuel trucks with the recent cutting of government subsidies on energy in Iran. Afghan analysts have suggested that Tehran fears that the fuel trucks will be delivered to NATO forces, but NATO and Afghan officials have rejected this statement and insist that the fuel is for civilian use.
Afghanistan has no refineries and supplies all its fuel needs internationally, 30 percent of which transits through Iran.
The demonstrators called for firm action from the Afghan government against Iran's ban on the fuel trucks as well as the death of a number of Afghan asylum seekers in recent weeks.
Najibollah Kabuli, head of the National Coalition Party said: "If Iran does not end this action within a week and explain about the death of the asylum seekers, all Iranian goods must be boycotted in Afghanistan."
This week, an Afghan private television aired a report on a number of Afghan asylum seekers which appeared to have been killed in the Iran-Afghanistan border.
... Payvand News - 01/08/11 ... --