Iranian official reports smuggling of Afghanistan’s gemstones into Iran

Qadir Qiafeh, deputy head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, has said that gemstones from Afghanistan are being smuggled into Iran and sold illegally, according to Iranian media reports.

In an interview with an Iranian media outlet, Qiafeh stated, “Gemstones mined in Afghanistan are entering Iran through unofficial channels and are traded in our markets.”

He did not specify which types of stones are involved but noted that several major Iranian mining companies have formed a consortium aimed at entering the Afghan mining sector. Additionally, a major Iranian steel company is seriously planning to enter Afghanistan’s mining market.

Taliban has not yet commented on Qiafeh’s remarks.

Qiafeh also mentioned in the interview that the extraction of these stones could serve as a pillar for cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan.

He suggested that Iran should invest in Afghanistan’s mines, asserting that such investments could be highly beneficial for Iranian investors.

The deputy head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce also mentioned that discussions and exchanges have been ongoing between officials from both countries focusing on mining.

Previously, Hassan Nourizadeh, Deputy Coordinator for Economic Affairs in Iran’s Khorasan Razavi province, stated that Tehran should utilize the mining and gemstones of Afghanistan as an opportunity.

Meanwhile, citizens have repeatedly criticized the unregulated and illegal mining under Taliban rule, arguing that these mines are a national asset of Afghanistan and should be used for the public benefit.

There are also concerns among some citizens about the Taliban awarding mining contracts based on personal relationships with private companies.