Iran keeps up diplomatic efforts to secure safe departure of its citizens from Ukraine

February 25, 2022 - 22:2

TEHRAN — As the war on Ukraine raged for the second day, the Iranian government continues efforts to ensure that its citizens in Ukraine are safe.

“With the start of the crisis and the ratcheting up of the tensions in the region, the Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassy in Kiev have taken extensive and various measures in this regard,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Friday. 

Given the “precise predictions” made at the foreign ministry, and since pertinent organizations and institutions had been notified of the developments that the world is witnessing today as the most likely scenario, a crisis headquarters was swiftly established at the ministry, and efforts were made so as to establish the highest coordination between the staff in line with the objective of better managing the situation and, if necessary, facilitate the evacuation of Iranian nationals, including university students, he stated.

The spokesman added, “Dr. Amir Abdollahian, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, held conversations with the foreign ministers of both countries (Ukraine and Russia). He also made several telephone calls to our country’s ambassador to Kiev and emphasized the relevant instructions as to the offering of urgent and special services to the Iranians expatriates; and most recently, he held a telephone conversation with Hungary’s foreign minister to facilitate the exit of Iranians through the border of that country.”

Khatibzadeh stressed that among the other measures taken by the ministry are: “Following up on the condition of the Iranian expatriates in Ukraine; updating the personal and contact information and addresses of the Iranian expatriates and creating a related data bank; establishing a 24/7 hotline for the Iranian expatriates to be able to contact the Department of Consular Affairs, and also similar measures taken by the Iranian embassy in Kiev, as well as preparing and publication of the embassy announcements regarding the need for vigilance and preparedness for emergency situations.”

“Furthermore, our country’s embassy in Kiev has been in constant contact with all the Iranian nationals, especially the university students, and will be replying to the questions and requests of the dear Iranians both via telephone calls and in person,” he said in his statement.

The diplomat added, “Our other measures include: Receiving the views and requests of the Iranians via phone calls and the embassy’s web pages; offering urgent consular services to some applicants round the clock; addressing the questions and concerns of the Iranians and the university students on different social media platforms; and holding the meetings of our country’s ambassador with different groups of Iranian university students.”

Khatibzadeh stressed that addressing the concerns of the families of the Iranian expatriates, including those of the university students, has been another duty that has been taken care of.

“Coordinating and making preparations with the Islamic Republic of Iran Airline to evacuate our country’s nationals has been another important measure taken at the beginning of the crisis, and, in case flights are possible and the Ukrainian government permits flights, and if the safety of the flight is ensured, it will take place swiftly,” he explained.

The diplomat went on to say that issuing relevant instructions to Iran’s embassies in countries neighboring Ukraine where compatriots can be perceived moving to has been another measure. 

“Our embassies in Poland, Hungary, Belarus, Moldova, and Romania are at full alert and have been given certain discretion to manage the passage of Iranians,” he remarked.

Concluding his remarks, Khatibzadeh stressed that Iran’s embassy in Kiev is active at full capacity and its most important mission is to address the problems of the Iranians, and this key mission will continue until it is ensured that the issues of each and every compatriot has been dealt with. 

“It is a given that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be in constant contact with the sides to the matter, and the dear Iranian expatriates will be notified of new decisions as the situation develops,” he asserted.”

Foreign ministry official meets Ukraine envoy in Tehran

During a meeting with the Ukrainian ambassador to Tehran on Friday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry director for the Eurasia Office Alireza Haghighian stressed the need to maintain the security of Iranian citizens and students residing in Ukraine, diplomats and the Iranian embassy in Kiev.

“We are concerned for the safety and health of all Iranian citizens,” Haghighian told the Ukrainian ambassador, adding that the Ukrainian government should take all necessary measures in this regard, including providing a safe departure for Iranian citizens.

Given the closure of the Ukrainian airspace, Haghighian demanded that the Ukrainian government make an effort for the Iranian citizens to move safely to Ukraine’s borders with its neighbors, including Poland.

Before the start of the Ukraine war, Iranian foreign ministry had set up a 24/7 hotline for the Iranian residents in Ukraine and their families in Iran to maintain a close contact with their loved ones. 

Diplomatic efforts to secure a safe exodus from Ukraine for the Iranians is constantly being pursued, as the Iranian ambassador in Ukraine met with the Iranian students to calm them and brief them about the latest updates regarding their departure.

Manouchehr Moradi visited the residence of some Iranian students in Kiev and spoke closely with them and learned about their problems.

The visit came after some students posted footages and videos on social media platform voicing concerns about their safety in Ukraine.

Also, the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Ukraine announced that it continues to provide services to compatriots and help their situation and is ready to respond to and address their requests.

Iranian embassy in Romania issues statement

Following the escalation of the situation in Ukraine, Iran’s embassy in Ukraine issued a statement, informing Iranian residents in Ukraine on how to contact the embassy in Romania for departure from Ukraine.

“Statement No. 1 of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Romania: Iranian citizens residing in Ukraine are informed: Iranians can visit the Romanian diplomatic mission in Chisinau, the consular offices in Cernauti, Cahul and Balti or obtain a Romanian visa directly at the Ukrainian-Romanian border crossing Siret-Sighetu Marmatiei, Halmeu. If you need any additional information or support, please call 0040761121802 or WhatsApp 00989122442208,” the statement read. 

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