Iran bans trucks from entering Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region via Armenia

By Orkhan Jalilov October 22, 2021

Iranian authorities issue notice warning against illegal entry of trucks into Azerbaijani territory. / MEHR News Agency

The Iranian Road Maintenance and Transport Organization has warned logistics companies against illegal entry into Azerbaijani Karabakh region.

He warned that Iranian transit trucks traveling from Iran via Armenia should only enter the Karabakh region, including the city of Lachin, through official border checkpoints established at the border by Azerbaijan.

“Any other form of entry into these territories from neighboring Armenia would be considered an intrusion by Azerbaijan and could entail legal risks”, Mohammad Javad Hedayati, director general of the Office of Transit and International Transport Affairs of the ‘Iranian Roads and Transport Maintenance Organization (IRMTO), said in a letter to unions of international transport companies on October 20, Iranian newspaper reports. Mehr press agency.

In the letter, IRMTO referred to a directive issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry on October 1, according to which any entry into Azerbaijani territory through crossing points that are not considered the official border checkpoint of this country constitutes a violation of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

IRMTO also warned Iranian drivers against signing trade agreements with residents of the Karabakh region and issuing shipping documents to transport companies carrying goods to that region.

The Goris-Kapan road is part of the main overland route between Iran and Armenia. The 21 km Azerbaijani section of the road was handed over to Azerbaijan, following the Second Karabakh War in the fall of 2020.

On September 12, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense issued a statement claiming to have sent letters to the Russian Defense Ministry and the peacekeeping force command regarding the illegal entry of vehicles belonging to other countries into Azerbaijani territory where Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed.

The ministry said the cases were in violation of the Moscow-negotiated declaration that ended the 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in November 2020.

At the beginning of September, Azerbaijan started collecting fees from Iranian transport trucks for the use of the Azerbaijani section of the road between the Armenian cities of Kapan and Goris. According to the Azerbaijan State Customs Committee, foreign vehicles entering or leaving the country must pay road tax and international shipping cost.

On September 15, Azerbaijani border guards arrested two Iranian drivers for illegally entering Azerbaijan from Armenia. After that, the Armenian state security services temporarily closed the Goris-Kapan road to Iranian trucks.

The Azerbaijani State Customs Committee announcement on October 21, the two truck drivers were handed over to Iran “on the basis of the principles of humanism, mutual respect and good neighborliness and good will”.

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