Upon Taliban request, Iran maintains fuel export to Afghanistan

Iran's exportation started a few days ago as the Taliban reduced taxes on Iranian fuel imports by up to 70 percent, an official said.

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On Monday, an official from Iran’s Oil, Gas, and Petrochemical Products Exporters’ Union stated that Iran resumed exporting gasoline and gasoil to Afghanistan several days ago upon the Taliban’s request. The move came as a countermeasure taken by the Taliban against a sharp increase in oil prices.

Hamid Hosseini, a board member and spokesperson at the Iranian exporters’ union in Tehran, stated that the Taliban delivered a message to Tehran indicating that the exports of petroleum products could be maintained. However, because of security worries, several Iranian merchants were suspicious, Hosseini added.

According to an official document issued by Afghan Customs organization, Iran’s exportation started a few days ago, as the Taliban reduced taxes on Iranian fuel imports by up to 70 percent.

Gasoline and gasoil constitute the main items of Iranian exports to Afghanistan. A report issued by PetroView, an Iranian oil and gas research and consultancy platform, indicated that Iranian export to Afghanistan materialized around 400,000 tons between May 2020 and May 2021.

In Afghanistan, the gasoline price had peak up to $900 per ton last week, while a lot of terrified Afghans, who expect retaliation and fear a return to the Taliban’s harsh form of Islamic rule established when they were in power two decades ago, fled cities.

Meanwhile, Iranian authorities announced that Tehran is ready to send fuel shipment to Lebanon. Speaking at press briefing conference, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said, “We sell our oil and its products based on our own decisions and the needs of our friend. Iran is ready to send fuel again to Lebanon if needed.”

Khatibzadeh’s remarks came following Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah group’s leader stating that more Iranian fuel shipments would depart to support attempts to reduce the country’s fuel shortage.

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