TEHRAN - The Iranian customs office (IRICA) says one of its main checkpoints on the eastern border with Afghanistan has resumed processing trade cargoes after a brief closure that was caused by clashes in the region.
IRICA spokesman Rouhollah Latifi said on Thursday that trade had been flowing normally across the Milak checkpoint on the border with Afghanistan since earlier in day.
Latifi said the border crossing had been closed for several hours as a cautionary measure and in response to brief clashes that had erupted in the nearby region between Iranian borders guards and Afghan forces working for the ruling Taliban group.
“This border (checkpoint) resumed activity after conditions returned to normal since this morning,” said Latifi.
Milak, located in Iran’s Sistan region, is responsible for a major part of trade exchanges between Iran and Afghanistan.
The border crossing closed down on Wednesday amid clashes that Iranian authorities described as a result of “border misunderstanding” on the Taliban side.
Cross border trade between Iran and Afghanistan increased following a brief outage that was caused by the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan in August.
Taliban officials said earlier this week that meager exports from Afghanistan to Iran had risen by 50% this year to a total of $17 million in November.
Iran’s exports to Afghanistan have topped $1.5 billion in the eight months to late November, according to latest IRICA figures which show that the value of shipments reached $145 million in the month to November 21.
Afghan officials said on Wednesday that they were working to offer round-the-clock services on customs offices on the border with Iran to help boost trade between the two countries.