Tuesday, 14 January, 2020

West needs fulfill obligations on Afghan refugees: Araghchi

An Iranian deputy foreign minister said Iran has been generously welcoming Afghan immigrants for 40 years, but Western countries, who are the many causes of the tragedies of the Afghan people, must also fulfill their obligations in this regard.

In his interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Friday, Seyyed Abbas Araghchi expressed surprise at some of the comments and misconceptions about his remarks on cyberspace and said that the issue of refugee and migration is an international debate and management and related costs of it is also an international responsibility.”

He added, “That the Iranian people, based on their human and Islamic beliefs, have generously been hosting the refugees, whether Afghan or other nationalities, in the last 40 years, and will continue to host is one argument and it is a different argument that other countries and international organizations, especially the Western countries, which are also responsible for many of the tragedies of the Afghan people, must also carry out their duties and responsibilities.”

The senior Iranian official emphasized that European governments should contribute to the reception of immigrants, either in the form of paying the costs or by accepting some of them in their own countries.

‘This is a serious demand of the Islamic Republic, and the Foreign Ministry has been pursuing it for many years through the UNHCR, the European authorities and the Afghan government, and will continue to pursue it seriously,’ he said.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister also said that obviously, in the present circumstances when the cruel and illegal sanctions of the US government imposed on Iran without any international justification and that the US government is trying to curtail the financial resources of the Islamic Republic, the demand of the Iranian nation is getting new dimensions.

The Deputy FM, emphasizing that the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully acquainted with and adhering to its Islamic, human and international responsibilities, said that the issue of the expulsion or return of refugees is not at all on the agenda of the government of Iran but to consider new options vis-a-vis them, is a separate matter.

Speaking in a TV interview on Wednesday night, Araghchi noted “More than three million Afghans are now in Iran, more than two million job opportunities have been occupied by good Afghan brothers in Iran, and they are taking out three to five billion euros from our country.”

He stated, “About 468,000 Afghan students are educating in Iran free schools, and each student costs € 600 per year to us. There are more than 3,000 Afghan students in Iran, but these trainings cost around 15,000 euros and they receive health care. We are pleased to welcome them, but it costs us.’

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