Iranian Foreign Ministry summons Afghan ambassador

June 14, 2020 - 9:11

TEHRAN - Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday summoned Afghan Ambassador Abdolghafour Lival over actions of certain anti-Iran groups in Afghanistan.

Certain groups which have a record of opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the good neighborliness, the Foreign Ministry said.

Rasoul Mousavi, an assistant to Iran’s foreign minister and the director-general of the Foreign Ministry Department for West Asia, expressed concerns over effects of these groups’ actions on relations between the two countries.

Certain groups have recently attacked the Iranian embassy in Kabul under the pretext that some Afghan migrants were drowned while they were trying to enter Iran illegally.

Afghan media outlets have claimed that about 50 Afghan migrants had been beaten and thrown into a river in the border. Iranian political and border officials have refuted the claim, saying the incident happened on the Afghan side of the Harirud River.

According to some reports, 18 of the migrants, including a 12-year old boy, were drowned in the river.

Iran and Afghanistan have launched an inquiry into the tragedy.

Iran has said it has extensive evidence that the incident has not happened on its borders. 

According to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi, the confirmed reports received from Iranian border guards show that such an incident has not occurred on the mentioned date and location. 

He added that due to weather conditions of the region, not a single Afghan citizen entered the Iranian territory on that date.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Mohsen Baharvand has blamed illegal traffic of Afghan migrants for the human tragedy.

Iranian diplomats and border guards have carried out investigations which show the Iranian guards were not involved in the incident, Baharvand added.

“Our investigation does not show that incident in Harirud was caused by interference of the Iranian border guards. However, we considered evidence of the Afghan side important and gave it to the related bodies,” Baharvand told IRNA in an interview published on June 7.

He said, “Due to Afghan armed forces’ fight against terrorism, Afghanistan has dismantled its border stations and this has caused lack of control over borders by Afghanistan. This issue has led to problems caused by human traffickers.”

Baharvand also said that Iran and Afghanistan will form a joint border committee.

The deputy foreign minister for international and legal affairs had said on May 27 that Iran and Afghanistan are in agreement on the incident.

Iranian and Afghan political delegations held their last round of talks on the incident in Kabul on May 26. 

Also, on June 3 a number of Afghan migrants were killed in a car accident in Yazd province. 

Following the incident, Ambassador Lival held a meeting with officials of the province. He said, “We believe that human traffickers and the driver are responsible for the incident.”

According to Lival, the driver has been identified and judicial authorities are striving to arrest him.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry has announced it will dispatch a high-level delegation to Tehran to investigate the recent incidents for Afghan citizens.

It said the purpose of the team is to draw up a plan to prevent illegal traffic by focusing on ensuring better border security and prevent a recurrence of similar incidents.

The ministry also said the delegation will discuss with Iranian officials the fight against human trafficking on both sides of the border, the beginning of the process of establishing the identity of Afghan citizens and the legalization of immigrant residency, as well as the implementation of the draft law on legal employment of Afghan workers.


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