Iran arrests Pakistani, seizes rice worth $500,000
November 15, 2012
Iran on Wednesday arrested a Pakistani exporter in Mashhad and seized his rice stock worth $500,000. The development is a serious blow to Pakistani exporters who are already facing payment issues in the neighbouring country following the economic sanctions imposed by United States on Iran.
Talking to Business Recorder, Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) Chairman Jawed Ali Ghori said that the rice exporters mainly from Balochistan were facing huge losses after the devaluation of Iranian currency following the international sanctions.
He said that the incident had jolted Pakistani exporters who feared loss of trade with the neighbouring country, particularly those exporters who already had rice stocks in Tehran. He said that a Balochistan-based exporter, who was also a member of REAP, had been arrested in Mashhad for reasons yet to be known and his rice stock lying there due to some price-related issues, had also been seized by the Iranian authorities.
Ghori further said that the exporter had reportedly been forced to sell his rice as per the announced rate of the Iranian government. “Keeping in view the devaluing Iranian currency, our member will have to bear huge financial losses if he sells rice as per the government”s announced rates,” he added. He said that the rice stock of the exporter valuing $500,000 had been seized by the authorities.
He said that a REAP delegation met Iranian Consul General in Lahore and requested him to intervene in the matter and ensure release of the rice stock besides resolving the pricing issue. He said that the issue would also be taken up with the country”s Foreign Office in Islamabad.