Jun 04, 2020 06:48 UTC
  • Turkey to reopen key border crossing to help trade rebound with Iran

Iran and Turkey will see their main trade gate reopen this week after more than three months of closure due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

According to Press TV, Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said on Wednesday that Ankara will order a reopening of the Gurbulak border gate, known on the Iranian side of the border as Bazargan, to help boost trade between the two neighbors.

The long-awaited measure comes more than a week after Iranian and Turkish presidents discussed the reopening of air and land borders between the two countries now that the pandemic has slowed down.

Iran has been the worst affected country in West Asia by COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

However, the rate of infection in the country has declined over the past weeks to help the government ease lockdown measures that came into force in early March.

The pandemic-related closure of borders between Iran and Turkey has caused a decline of up to 70 percent in trade between the two in the first quarter this year.

Iran sees trade with Turkey as key in efforts to confront US sanctions that have sought to undermine Tehran’s oil exports. Petrochemical products account for a major share of Iran’s exports to Turkey although US bans have made it difficult to settle payments between businesses in the two countries.

Turkey also relies on Iran as a major market for its manufacturing goods, including industrial machinery and garment, while it also sends to Iran some sizable shipments of crops and fruits that are not cultivated in the country.