An Iranian official told Reuters that a few days ago, at the request of the new Afghan government, Iran resumed its fuel exports to Afghanistan. The new Afghan government believes that after the United States withdraws, it has the right to more openly purchase oil from the sanctioned countries.

The Sunni Muslim organization seized power in Afghanistan last week, and the United States and its allies withdrew after 20 years of war.

Gasoline prices in Afghanistan reached US$900 per ton because many Afghans were driven out of the city, fearing reprisals, and returning to harsh interpretations of Islamic laws imposed when the Taliban came to power 20 years ago.

In response to the price spike, the new Taliban asked Shia Iran to keep its borders open to traders.

“The Taliban sent a message to Iran saying:’You can continue to export petroleum products,'” Hamid Husseini, a board member and spokesperson of the Union of Iranian Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Exporters, told Reuters in Tehran. Reverted to Afghanistan on Tuesday.

The Taliban sent messages to Iranian businessmen and the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, which has close ties to the government.

Therefore, the Customs Administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRICA), which is part of the government, lifted the fuel export ban on Afghanistan that has been in place since August 6, because Iran is worried about its trade security. nation.

Husseini said the Taliban’s attitude alleviated these concerns.

He also cited the Taliban’s decision to reduce tariffs on fuel imported from Iran and other neighboring countries, and shared with Reuters an official document issued by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan-the Taliban called themselves by this name.

The document stipulates that the tariffs on gasoline, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas imported from neighboring countries to Afghanistan are 70% discounted.

More open transactions

Iran has the world’s fourth largest oil reserves, but the latest round of US sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump in 2018 has significantly reduced Iran’s oil exports.

Despite this, Iran manages some trade, especially the delivery of fuel to neighboring countries such as Afghanistan by truck, and the US withdrawal has made Iranian and Afghan leaders less nervous about more open transactions, Hosseini said.

Iran’s main exports to Afghanistan are gasoline and gas oil. According to a report released by PetroView, Iran’s oil and gas research and consulting platform, Iran exported about 400,000 tons of fuel to its neighboring countries from May 2020 to May 2022.

According to Afghan government reports seen by traders and Reuters, Iran’s fuel flow has been critical to Afghanistan in the past few years.

According to a report compiled by the Afghan Ministry of Finance, Chamber of Commerce and private companies, between March 2020 and March 2022, Iran’s imports amounted to 367 million U.S. dollars, mainly fuel.

The two most important oil suppliers are Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The trade is mainly oil, valued at 257 million U.S. dollars and 236 million U.S. dollars, respectively.

An unnamed source with direct knowledge of the matter said that Iran transports more than 1 million tons or more than 20,000 barrels of fuel to Afghanistan each year.

Transaction volume doubled

Husseini said that the main destinations of Iranian fuel are the eastern provinces near the Iranian border and southern regions such as Kandahar and Nimruz. The Taliban had a strong influence in these areas even before the push in recent weeks.

“I think the new Iranian government will greatly expand cooperation with the Taliban government. Iran can easily double its trade with Afghanistan. Since Iran was sanctioned by the United States, the (Ashraf) Ghani government has been trying to restrict cooperation with Iran. ,” Husseini said.

Afghanistan has not developed its own oil industry. There are 6 small refineries in the country, each of which can only produce a few thousand barrels of refined oil per day.

They use light oil from Turkmenistan, and two oil refineries in Turkmenistan also directly supply diesel and jet fuel.

Two major oil refineries in Uzbekistan also supply refined products by rail and truck.

People familiar with the matter said that due to the security situation, the supply of condensate (light crude oil) in Turkmenistan was stopped a month ago, but it is expected to resume in about two weeks.

“The problem is that the bank stopped working three days ago, so we might return to the cash bag,” the source said.

Source link