Iran has begun not asking fuel difference fees from Turkish trucks as of Monday Dec. 1 but started sealing fuel tanks of Turkish trucks at the border gates, Iran’s top envoy to Ankara said in a statement on Monday.
Iranian customs for transit of Turkish trucks are vital for Turkey’s exports to Central Asia.
The announcement came after Turkey retaliated with increasing transit fees for Iranian trucks when Iran hiked its own rates for Turkish trucks.
On Nov. 17, Iran's Ambassador to Turkey Ali Reza Bikdeli said the latest sticking point over truck transit fees was solved after negotiations between the two neighbors. "Certain arrangements should be made within the next 10 days for a new system," he said.
"We accepted this request due to the insistence of our Turkish friends and their imposition of some taxes.
“The deal is just for Turkish trucks. Other national trucks will pay fuel difference fees at the border and they can buy cheap fuel inside Iran,” Bikdeli said.
The statement from the Iranian Embassy added: "Officials from the transport ministries of Turkey and Iran will come together to discuss the latest arrangements between two countries.”
The fuel prices are much lower in Iran due to state subsidies in the country. In Turkey, a liter of diesel fuel costs $1.76. In Iran, this number stands at $0.09, which gives Iran the fifth cheapest diesel fuel in the world after Venezuela, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, according to globalpetrolprices.com
President of Turkey’s International Transporters' Association, Fatih Sener confirmed Iran’s moves on Monday.
"Turkish trucks are still waiting at the Turkmenistan-Iran border because of Iranian actions for Turkish trucks.Iran does not allow Turkish trucks into its borders," Sener said.
The association said on its website there was speculation that the latest situation might create “chaos” on Turkey-Iran border.