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Located in Kabul, Afghanistan, CAPS is an independent, research centre that strives to conduct action-oriented research which will influence policy-makers. It works diligently towards building local capacity to produce conflict and threat assessments that will influence the safety and security of the people serving the governments, and international aid organizations.
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Feb 22, 2011
All (not) quiet on the western front

January 2011
Hrishiraj Bhattacharjee
Recently for Afghanistan, all is not quiet on the western front; courtesy of its western neighbour Iran. From early December 2010, Iran began to stop Afghan bound fuel trucks at the Iranian side of the Afghan-Iran border. Various reports suggested that more than 2000 such trucks have been blocked by the Iranian border forces.  Although, Afghanistan imports fuel from different countries like Iraq, Turkmenistan etc, Afghanistan has to rely on Iran to allow 30-40% of its fuel to cross overland.  Official response from Iran has been confusing at best. On 4th January, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the issue would soon be resolved stressing that the ban was the result of technical problems following a cut in Iranian government subsidies in late December. ‘After changes that cut subsidies, it is natural that some technical problems occur when sending fuel to neighbouring countries... The problem is being resolved,’ Mehmanparast said.   Later on 10th January, Iranian Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr Seyed Shamseddin Hosseini put forward a different story when he said ‘The issue is, in no way, related to blocking or banning traffic of fuel tankers to Afghanistan, rather the point is doing the necessary controls’.  Hosseini added that Iran has made a general decision to practise serious control over the traffic of fuel to Afghanistan, as the Iranian government fears that the fuel could be used by NATO forces. Earlier, Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan Fada Hossein Maleki warned Kabul that supplying NATO forces with fuel imported from Iran would endanger undisrupted export and transit of Iranian fuel to Afghanistan.(Full Article,file type (Pdf) 267 KB )



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