Iranian UN envoy urges immediate international aid to Afghanistan

October 27, 2021 - 22:24

TEHRAN - Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran's ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, has said "it is time for the international community to join hands to provide immediate assistance to the people of Afghanistan.”

Writing an article published on Wednesday, Takht Ravanchi said, “In Iran, we are doing our duty, but any other way will be catastrophic," IRNA reported. 

The foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighbors plus Russia met in Tehran on Wednesday to assess the current “disastrous” situation in that country. They came together to discuss possible ways to help the Afghan people overcome the difficult and terrible challenges they face.

The diplomat added: "After the hasty withdrawal of the United States and the sudden fall of the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last August - and the Taliban's takeover of the whole country - rapid changes have taken place that have serious political, economic and social, security consequences for the entire region."

Takht Ravanchi noted that Iran, as a neighboring country that has historical, cultural, linguistic and religious ties with Afghanistan, cannot remain indifferent to the suffering of the Afghan people. 

"Over the past 42 years, Iran has used its best efforts to bring together Afghan factions with different ethnic and religious backgrounds together to resolve their differences peacefully. For years, we have been providing humanitarian assistance to over three million Afghan refugees, with little international support."

Recent developments in Afghanistan now mean that several hundred thousand more refugees have crossed the border and entered Iran and again “we are hosting our Afghan brothers and sisters almost without receiving any new resources from the international community,” Iran’s ambassador to the UN pointed out.

“In addition to food, shelter, medicine and education, we now provide Covid-19 vaccines to refugees while we are under severe and illegal U.S. sanctions,” he added.

"The current situation in Afghanistan requires coordinated international efforts, and neighboring countries can play a major role in this regard," the diplomat suggested.
He added Iran believes that a regional approach with the support of the United Nations can help the people of Afghanistan overcome the current crisis.

The Iranian diplomat also said, "We have supported the 6+2 format (Afghanistan’s neighbor plus Russia and the United States) under the auspices of the United Nations and are now hosting a meeting of Afghanistan's neighbors."
The ambassador to the United Nations said given these efforts, there are some issues that need immediate attention:

1- The absolute need to establish an inclusive government in Afghanistan. The domination of one ethnic or religious group over the whole country is doomed to failure. Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic country and in order to gain the trust of the Afghan people and also to enjoy the respect of the international community, a government must be formed representing all Afghans.

-2 Current efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan must be redoubled. Winter is approaching and people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. As such, assistance should not be subject to other matters. We, in turn, will intensify our efforts in this regard and will continue to do so.

3 -The international response to the influx of asylum seekers to neighboring countries, including Iran, must be intensified. The international community, especially the West, has a responsibility to do its part in helping the refugees.

4-In recent years, the people of Afghanistan, including women, who make up half of the population, have played a significant role in the development of their country. These achievements should not be allowed to go backwards. According to Islamic teachings, the human rights of all Afghans, including women, men and children, with different religious and ethnic backgrounds, must be respected.

5 -Terrorism must be confronted with intensity and severity. Terrorist groups, including ISIS, should not be allowed to take advantage of the current situation in Afghanistan, which has caused destruction and terror among the people. The recent terrorist attacks in Kunduz and Kandahar are alarming and should remind us of the continuing terrorist threats to Afghanistan and its neighbors.

Takht Ravanchi added, "The 20-year invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in which large numbers of Afghans were killed by U.S. forces and the subsequent irresponsible withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces have created a dangerous situation in a volatile region."

Iran's senior diplomat to the UN stressed that it is the moral responsibility of the international community to help the people of Afghanistan to stand on their feet with dignity and pride.

"The people and different ethnicities of Afghanistan have the same historical responsibility to put aside their differences and establish an inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic and religious groups. This can only be achieved through inter-Afghan dialogue and non-interference of foreigners,” the diplomat asserted.


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