Head of Exports Development Organization of Iran Mohammad Saafdel said here Wednesday infrastructures of country’s exports would be expanded in a bid to boost commercial and economic activities more than ever before.
Saafdel who is accompanying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s cabinet in their provincial visit of Ilam added, “Entry of the private sector firms to expansion projects for development of cold halls, exhibition complexes, and export terminals would be welcomed and supported.”
According to the exports official, “The private sector firms that have plans can make investments for the expansion of export infrastructures in provinces.”
The official added, “Based on the legal order, proportionate with the extent of progress in infrastructure projects, in order to support the private sector firms involved in them, they would be given export bonuses.”
He meanwhile referred to the export potentials of the Ilam border province, arguing, “The government has made satisfactory investments in construction of the Mehran Boarder infrastructure.”
The deputy industries, mines, and trade minister added, “Efforts would be made incessantly to lift the entire obstacles in the way of the region’s border trade and so that the comprehensive development plan for Mehran Border would be fully completed.”
The Head of Ilam Chamber of Industries, Mines and Commerce, too, in the meeting asked for the establishment of an Iraqi consular office in Ilam Province.
Sha’ban Foroutan reiterated, “The establishment of an Iraqi consular office in Ilam Province can solve some of the difficulties with which the Ilami merchants are entangled in their border trader.”
He added, “In order to gain their money from the Iraqi tradesmen the Ilami merchants and businessmen need long term visas, but since there are not any such offices in the region yet. They face problems for visiting the neighboring country.”
According to him, the establishment of a Special Economic Zone in Mehran, too, would merely solve the serious demands of the private sector for conducting major economic transactions.
The head of Ilam Chamber of Industries, Mines and Commerce added, “Imports proportionate with the extent of exports, too, is among the serious demands of the regional traders.”
Foroutan added, “Mehran is an international boarder and in accordance with the international laws, the entire boarder transactions, including imports, transit, and exports of goods should be implemented through it.”
He expressed hope that relying on government and private sector support the required prerequisites for comprehensive development of Ilam Province would be provided more than ever before.
Mehran, also Romanized as Mansurabad, is a boarder city and the capital of Iran’s Ilam Province. At the 2006 national census its population was 13,118 people, living in 2,958 families.
Mehran is located Iran's western border with Iraq. Because of its strategic proximity - only two hours' drive from Baghdad - the city has played a continuing role in dealings between Iran and Iraq.
In May 1986, during the Iran–Iraq War, Iraqi forces captured Mehran, on the western plain of the Zagros Mountains in Ilam Province, and pushed eastward to the mountain base. Mehran has an important position on the major north-south road, close to the border on the Iranian side. The former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein offered to exchange the captured city for the desired territory of Faw Island in the southern Iranian Khuzestan Province. The occupation lasted only one month, however. Instead of acquiescing, the brave Iranian forces recaptured Mehran and drove off the Iraqis, humiliating Saddam and raising doubts about his ability to win his stupidly imposed war.
In 2003 the Iranian Government set up a camp in Mehran to accommodate an anticipated influx of up to 50,000 Iraqi refugees from the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US. By April of that year, over 100,000 Iraqis had massed near the border, prompting the Governor of Mehran to issue a plea for additional resources.
In March 2005 the Iranian Government decreed that Iranian pilgrims could once again enter Iraq through Mehran, and in May 2005 it was reported that the city is to be converted into a special tourist zone from where the Iranian pilgrims would travel toward Karbala and the other holy Shi’a sites in Iraq, to be facilitated by the construction of several three and four star hotels.
Courtesy Wikipedia for the background on Ilam International Border