Iran’s trade with Kuwait sabotaged by Saudis: Businessman

Iran’s exports to Kuwait continue to suffer from Saudi Arabia’s pressures on its neighboring country, the head of Iran-Kuwait Joint Chamber of Commerce says insisting that Tehran should counter the move.

4 July 2020
ID : 22457
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Iran’s exports to Kuwait continue to suffer from Saudi Arabia’s pressures on its neighboring country, the head of Iran-Kuwait Joint Chamber of Commerce says insisting that Tehran should counter the move.

Doha Port is one of the three ports managed by Kuwait Ports Authority. The port is used for small boats operating between the Persian Gulf countries.

Iran’s exports to Kuwait continue to suffer from Saudi Arabia’s pressures on its neighboring country, the head of Iran-Kuwait Joint Chamber of Commerce says insisting that Tehran should counter the move.

Iran’s total exports to Kuwait stood at $186 million in the Iranian year ending March 2020, down from $400 million recorded in the previous calendar year, according to Hani Feisali who also heads the Chamber of Commerce in the southern port of Khorramshahr.

Feisali said Saudi pressures on Kuwait to reduce its trade ties with Iran have become more evident since February when the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic caused a significant decline in exchanges across the borders.

Kuwait on 23 February 2020 banned the entry of ships coming from Iran due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The decision banned all Iranian vessels from docking in the country’s Shuaib, Shuwaikh, and Doha ports. Doha Port is used for small boats operating between the Persian Gulf countries.

“There are elements in the Kuwaiti government that won’t allow our exchanges to be easily processed,” he said adding, “Kuwait is more or less following the policies of its big brother Saudi Arabia.”

Kuwait has refused to lift the ban on Iranian wooden boats that was imposed after the start of the pandemic while it rejects to process export applications by certain groups of Iranian businesses, Feisali said.

Iran's border with its Arab neighbor Iraq has been opened since early June under certain health protocols after it was closed in March due to coronavirus outbreak.

Regional trade between the Persian Gulf countries is handled by the hand-made wooden floats known as Lenj.

Feisali  said Iran’s exports to Kuwait had dropped by 36-40 percent between late March and late June mainly due to restrictions imposed in the Arab country on Iranians and their cargoes.

He said Iranian merchants need more support from the government to continue dealing with customers in Kuwait.

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