Attempts by Iranian customs officials to stop supplies of arms, drink and drugs entering the country from Turkey have held up hundreds of trucks at the main border post at Barzagan.
Attempts by Iranian customs officials to stop supplies of arms, drink and drugs entering the country from Turkey have held up hundreds of trucks at the main border post at Barzagan. The flow of traffic has fallen to a fraction of the five hundred vehicles that daily passed into Iran before the revolution.
SYNOPSIS: Iranian officials first imposed restrictions at the beginning of the year. The measures are aimed at preventing supplies of alcohol and drugs banned by the Islamic government from entering the once lucrative market of Iran. The government also aims to prevent arms from reaching Kurds who are seeking an autonomous state within the new Islamic republic.
Customs officials allow in only thirty trucks a day. Preference is given to those bringing food and medical supplies to Iran, and trucks carrying arms are turned back. Restrictions have led to a build-up of hundreds of trucks on both sides of the border.
Although all the trucks are thoroughly searched, the authorities believe arms are still reaching the Kurds. They are thought to be smuggled across rough terrain at night. Each day more trucks join the queue to enter Iran. Those in transit to other countries such as Pakistan are among the vehicles denied entry. And empty vehicles that have delivered good in Iran are also delayed and searched.