ISLAMABAD  - While citing reservations over Pakistani wheat quality, Iran has finally rebuffed to import one million tons wheat from Pakistan under a barter trade deal, said reliable sources.

According to sources familiar with the development told Online here that Iran has conveyed to Pakistani authorities that it can only buy wheat with zero per cent karnal bunt content while Pakistani wheat is of 3 per cent content which is not acceptable for Iran.

“Iran has not officially conveyed Pakistani authorities so far about its refusal to import one million tons wheat under barter trade arrangements,” said an official working in Ministry of National Food Security and Research.

“Ministry of National Food Security and Research has been regularly contacting the Iranian authorities to finalise the modalities for exporting one million tons of wheat to Iran,” said an official, adding that Pakistan has not received any response from Iranian side so far to complete the deal which was earlier agreed to be finalized till May 14, 2014.

Finalisation of Pakistan and Iran barter trade deal had already been facing delay as Iranian authorities showed disinterest in importing wheat from Pakistan.

Earlier the matter could not be resolved in meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet because Pakistan Agriculture Storage Supplies Corporation (PASSCO) wanted to export wheat at the price of $315 per ton then the ECC had constituted a sub- committee under the chair of then Federal Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar to resolve the issue. In the sub-committee meeting held on May 5, 2012 the committee was of the view that wheat should be exported according to the international price. But later, the committee agreed to export the wheat at the price of $275 per ton. In the meeting of sub-committee Naveed Qamar had asked PASSCO to finalise the deal on the basis of talks held at Tehran between Pakistani and Iranian authorities in April this year.

In the meeting it had been decided in principle that one million tons of surplus wheat from PASSCO stocks and rice will be exported to Iran on barter trade arrangement. At that time Iran has expressed its desire to import both the items from Pakistan and in exchange urea will be imported from there.