Iranian shippers increase costs following blockade of Doha


    The marine transportation costs from Iran, Qatar’s sole breathing space, have sharply increased following the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar.

    Over the past few days, sea freight prices have increased four times and reached $2,000 per container, as Saudi Arabia and its allies imposed sanctions on Qatar, Ahmad Sadeghian, Iran’s official spokesman said, Tasnim news agency reported.

    He slammed the skyrocketing shipping prices terming the move by ship owners in southern regions of the country as “creating black market”.

    He is sure that the rise in prices will have a negative impact on Iran’s exports to Qatar, as Turkey expands its exports to the Middle East country of the Persian Gulf.

    Several Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing the latter of supporting ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other terrorists and destabilizing the situation in the Middle East. They were later joined by Libya, Yemen, the Maldives, Mauritius and Mauritania, with Jordan and Djibouti announcing they would lower the level of diplomatic contacts with Qatar. Senegal and Chad recalled their ambassadors from Doha.

    Doha denied allegations over its support to terrorism and extremism adding that the diplomatic rift was based on “baseless fabricated claims.”

    Qatar expressed its readiness for a dialogue to solve the crisis and denied to take counter-action measures against its neighbors.

    Qatar, a small peninsular nation of 2.5 million people, was importing 80 percent of its food requirements from bigger Gulf Arab neighbors before they cut ties with it. Turkey and Iran have been providing food and water supplies to Qatar after the crisis occurred.