The Free Iranian Staff
Soumar border crossing point was shut down by direct order of Iraq’s prime minister.
Iraqi officials have assigned the border crossing point’s staff to the Manzariehe customs or border crossing point (another crossing point between Khanaqin and Ghassr-e-shirin). They have closed the Soumar border crossing point by installing highway barrier concrete walls.
Kermanshah’s provincial governor has told the reporters that shutting down this border crossing point has major economic repercussions for Kermanshah province in Iran and Iraq’s Dyiala province, however such assertions can’t be true, due to the fact that the Kermanshah province has two official border crossing points and an international border terminal.
Tehran’s officials justified setting up the Soumar border crossing point on the pretext of economic boom and fighting poverty, improving livelihoods, etc. But that’s yet another blatant lie as far as this border point cannot sustain itself let alone be economically beneficial because of its location.
In 2004, Naeeim Najafi, a journalist in Kermanshah explained the ineffectiveness of this border crossing point in solving the economic deadlock of Gilan-e-gharb, He called it “imprudent, futile and risky business that will end in the closure of the border.”
Najafi questioned the security issues of the region of Soumar-Mandali border area and He mentioned that “if the goal of building this border terminal is to improve the economic situation of Gilan-e-gharb through transactions with Dyiala province and Iraqi Kurdistan then the Parvizkhan border crossing point and border market area will be a problem, because Parvizkhan is closer to Kalar and Suleimanieh in Iraq and traders and business people are focused in that market.”
Regarding the Tehran’s officials’ justifications of keeping this border area open, Najafi proposed using Gilan-e-gharb’s potential for distributing the imported and exported goods, boosting the town’s potential for tourism, improving its agriculture and using its natural resources instead of the unproductive, financially unaffordable and costly border crossing point and terminal.
Why was the Soumar border crossing point set up?
The main reason for opening up this border crossing point has been unknown to the public, behind the scenes, Nouri Maleki and IRGC’s Quds Force have agreed to cut off the economic ties between Kermanshah and the Iraqi Kurdistan region; The ties between the two sides have cultural impacts for the Islamic regime.
Close ties with Iraqi Kurdistan directly effect and increases the demands of Kermanshah’s Kurdish population, as far as living conditions of the Iraqi Kurdistan region is much better and in some cases even incomparable with that of the Kermanshah’s.
Against this backdrop they decided to decrease and weaken the ties between Kermanshah and Iraqi Kurdistan and boost its southern parts.
Another important angle is to boost the ‘Shia crescent’ and creating a drug and weapons transit route via Soumar border by IRGC, since the gates of the northwestern parts of the province are controlled by the Iraqi Kurdistan’s security forces and also the Khosrawi border crossing point and its terminal which are under the supervision of the Khanaqin’s governor’s office could be a problem for IRGC.
It is worth mentioning that the closure of the border terminal could be the result of the U.S. government’s pressure on Adil Abdul-Mehdi’s government in which case one needs to bear in mind that Kermanshah province and Gilan-e-gharb which possess oil and gas reserves, other natural resources, agricultural potentials, tourism and transit capabilities are victims of IRGC’s mob for their logistical support of terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.