Mandali border crossing connecting Iraq with Iran has been closed after an
official order issued by Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi’s office due to
Muhammad Hamid Kazim, secretary of the commander in chief Abd al-Mahdi, issued an order on Wednesday to close the border crossing in Diyala province after corruption and mismanagement cases were reported to the prime minister's office.
All employees working at the crossing were requested to be transferred to other border crossings, per the order.
Qasim al-Maamuri, a member of the Diyala provincial council, acknowledged issues at the crossing, but said the prime minister should have consulted local authorities before issuing the order.
“There was mismanagement and corruption in Mandali...however the prime minister should have consulted with the local authorities in Diyala,” al-Maamuri said on Saturday. “The border crossing was still benefiting Diyala’s people.”
Refusing to mention anyone in particular, Maamuri said that an armed group was in control of the crossing.
The Badr Organization, headed by Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Fatih Coalition in the Iraqi Parliament, handles security in the Diyala province.
Maamuri also said that Abd al-Mahdi should have removed the groups controlling the crossing.
"The prime minister had to remove those parties ruling over the crossing and instead solidify the government's authorities over them," Maamuri said.
He also branded the gate as being "the economic hub of the region."
Adil Muhsin Kadhim, an official from the Mandali crossing, said that "the monthly revenue is 600 to 700 million dinars."
"If more services were extended to the crossing, the income would further increase," Kadhim said.
The Mandali border crossing is one of ten border crossings between Iraq and Iran.
Iran is an important trading partner for Iraq, exporting billions of dollars of goods into the Iraqi market as Baghdad tries to recover from years of instability and fighting insurgent groups, including ISIS.