ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Iranian consulate located in Erbil on Thursday announced commercial activity and trade would resume at the border markets between the Kurdistan Region and Iran.
After addressing a number of issues related to border crossings, including the existence of several unofficial crossing points between Iran and the Kurdistan Region, the consulate released a statement that commercial activity would resume.
Quoted by Fars news agency, the Iranian consulate said Tehran “agreed to resume activity in the border markets of Kele in Sardasht, Sayran-Ban in Bana and Shushme in Pawa after holding talks with regional authorities and the Iraqi Federal Government.”
Baghdad recently closed down unofficial crossings between Iran and the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. There are three official gates with the Kurdistan Region: Bashmakh, Haji Omaran, and Parwezkhan.
The Iranian consulate did not provide details on the agreement reached but indicated that the resumption of trade in the border markets would allow investors to develop business ties between the two nations.
At the request of the Iraqi federal government, Tehran had previously closed its borders to the Kurdistan Region following the Kurdish nation’s Sep. 25 referendum on independence, which saw an overwhelming majority favor secession. The official border crossings were reopened early this year.
Trade between the Kurdistan Region and Iran is valued at 5 billion dollars annually. Iranian officials claim Iran has lost $2.5 billion in revenue due to the closure of the border crossings.
In January, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Nechirvan Barzani led a delegation to Tehran where he met with President Hassan Rouhani. Both expressed a desire to expand trade and bilateral relations between the two nations.