Fearing from the US sanctions, Afghanistan bans imports of four category of goods from Iran, targeting mainly metal and petrochemical products.
After the imposition of the new round of sanctions against Iran by the US, countries and companies were warned to seize all financial activity with Iran.
Initially, a number of neighboring countries which are Iran’s largest financial markets, condemned the action. Yet a few weeks after the return of sanctions, they have begun to comply. Previously Iraqi officials had announced that they were seizing all trade based on the US dollar with Iran.
Prior to the sanctions, Afghanistan officials had voiced concern over US sanctions on Iran. Iran makes nearly 25% of Afghanistan’s import.
A chief concern for both countries is the blockage of banking transactions with Iran. The Iran-Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce, has said that in addition to sanctions, domestic problems in Iran have reduced Iranian exports.
The Afghanistan Government is in talks with the US to gain a special status allowing them to continue trade with Iran. Based on the latest statistics, Afghanistan imports close to 10 billion dollars from different countries and a quarter of this sum is from Iran.
Adhering to US sanctions, Afghanistan has banned the import of certain industrial goods such as steel, cement, iron and rebar from Iran. The Afghanistan Customs Office has issued a deadline of few days, demanding Iranian businesspeople to settle their accounts and deliver goods which have already been purchased.
Iranian officials believe that Afghanistan is unable to procure these goods from other sources. Meanwhile Afghanistan traders believe that this situation is temporary and will be rectified.
Related article: Iraq positioning after return of US sanctions against Iran