0931 GMT May 06, 2021
IRICA spokesman Rouhollah Latifi said that the figure is down only 67 tons, or 0.89 percent, against the previous year, Press TV reported.
Latifi said the customs facilities at Shahid Rajaee Port, Iran’s largest container port on the Persian Gulf, processed a bulk of the transit cargoes last year with over 3.3 million tons of shipments registered at the facility for passing through Iran to other countries.
The Bazargan border crossing, located on the northwestern frontier with Turkey, came second at 0.7 million tons, followed by Bashmaq crossing at the border with the Iraqi Kurdistan at 0.68 million tons, he said.
The official said transit through the Iranian territory could have witnessed a major increase last calendar year if it were not for restrictions imposed at borders because of the pandemic.
Iran ordered months of closures at its borders beginning March 2020 when the government imposed a lockdown across the country to curb one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the Middle East region.
Located on a key geographic crossroads, Iran seeks to increase its share of revenues levied on cargoes passing between Asia and Europe through its territory.
The total weight of cargo transit through Iran had reached 12 million tons in 2013, a sixfold increase compared to early 1990s.
Latifi said a target has been set to increase cargo transit through Iran to 50 million tons per year.
However, he said, sanctions imposed by the US in recent years have hampered government efforts to expand transit infrastructure across the country.