Iran should lift border fuel tanker blockade: Kabul

Afghanistan on Monday urged Iran to lifta ban on hundreds of fuel tankers crossing into its territory, accusing Tehranof stalling on a pledge to resolve the situation.

Despite an agreement reached between Tehran and Afghan Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim last week, hundreds oftrucks arestill being prevented from crossing the border, Kabul said.

“Today the problem was discussed in the cabinet meeting,”President Hamid Karzai’s spokesmanWaheed Omer told a press conference.

“Afghanistan’s cabinet expressed regret that despite efforts, despite the vice president’s visit to Iran and despite it appearing that the problem was solved, it has not been,” Omer said.

Tehran had said the ban was imposed because it believed the fuel carried by the tankers was being used to supply USand other international troops fighting theTaliban in Afghanistan.

Omer said that Karzai had ordered his commerce minister, Anwarul Haq Ahadi, to talk to the Iranian government.

“The commerce minister isassigned to raise this issue with the Islamic Republicof Iran and pass on the Afghan cabinet’s message to the friendly country of Iran.

“We hope this problem is solved soon.Further delays will increase the problems of Afghanistan,” Omer said.

Around 30 percent of Afghanistan’s fuel is thought to come through transport routes from Iran, with muchof the rest passing through the central Asian republics which border the strife-torn country.