Iran expects Europe to act responsibly toward refugees: official

November 6, 2021 - 21:40

TEHRAN — The Director General of Foreign Affairs and Immigrants of the Iranian Interior Ministry has said Tehran expects the European countries and the international community in large, including the United Nations, to act responsibly in allocating the necessary fund and provide comprehensive support for Afghan refugees flooding into Iran.

Mehdi Mahmoudi made the remarks during a meeting with Pasi Tuominen, Director General of Consular Services of the Finish Foreign Ministry, Finnish Ambassador to Tehran Kari Kahiluoto and the accompanying delegation. 

Mahmoudi said Iran has been hosting and providing services to the Afghan refugees for more than four decades. 

“Iran has been a major supporter of refugees and displaced persons and, despite economic difficulties and unfair sanctions, has provided valuable services to a large number of refugees and foreign immigrants without any discrimination in the areas of education, health, livelihood, vocational training and employment,” the Interior Ministry official stated.

Stating that the government of Iran, unlike some countries, has not housed refugees in camps, Mahmoudi added despite the little aid from international organizations, Iran has provided comfortable living conditions for the refugees nationwide.

The official continued, “Undoubtedly, addressing the problems of refugees is a serious and international responsibility, and the responsibility of European countries and the global community, such as the United Nations and Finland in the distribution of financial resources and comprehensive support to refugees, is also expected by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Despite the fact that Iran has been hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees for four decades, the situation has worsened given the large number of refugees that are flooding into Iran coupled with the economic hardship caused by the oppressive sanctions against Iran, the Interior Ministry official stressed.

He added the ability to accommodate new refugees is limited. 

“Given the recent developments in Afghanistan and to deal with possible flood of refugees into the country and prevent them from entering European countries, including Finland, it is expected to enter seriously in this area and provide the necessary funds and provide the necessary support.”
For his part, Touminen said Finland will do it best to address issues and problems related to refugees, especially refugees and asylum seekers, as soon as possible.

Regarding the problems of the Afghan people, he said Finland is trying to provide favorable conditions in Afghanistan so that they can achieve relative stability and the people can lead a normal life.

"We are interested in being able to cooperate with the Islamic Republic of Iran to solve the problems of refugees," Touminen added.

Ambassador Kahiluoto also pledged Finland’s financial assistance to the Islamic Republic in dealing with the flood of refugee.

Since the Taliban takeover in August 15, new waves of Afghan refugees are trying to enter various countries, such as Iran, Turkey, and Europe. 

Turkey has reinforced its border with Iran to stop a potential arrival of Afghans fleeing the Taliban rule.

Local media report a 155-kilometre stretch of a planned 241-kilometre wall has already been erected at the border by Turkey, Euronews reported. 

On November 6, Turkish security personnel arrested nearly 150 Afghan migrants on the border with Iran, media reports said on Saturday.

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