Iran manages to host Afghan refugees despite U.S. ruthless sanctions

June 20, 2022 - 21:42

TEHRAN- The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a welcoming neighbor, has been harboring millions of Afghan refugees for decades, while being subjected to years of sanctions.

The United Nations declared June 20 as World Refugee Day to remember millions of asylum seekers, including Afghans, who have been forced to flee their nation due to decades of foreign-instigated civil war, insecurity and occupation, including the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 that lasted until last year.

The day honors the strength and bravery of those who have been forced to leave violence and cruelty. The designation gives a chance to build solidarity and foster an environment in which people may comprehend the plight of migrants.

They may take an airplane, a boat, or even walk just to survive. The basic desire of all refugees is to find safety and peace.

Iran has displayed excellent neighborliness and kindness, particularly when it comes to sheltering Afghan refugees. Different conflicts and political turbulences have affected Afghans, including the Soviet Union's invasion in the 1980s, the Taliban's takeover of power in 1996, the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and the Taliban's retake of power in 2021.

Thus, over the course of several decades, Iran has welcomed roughly three million Afghan refugees; nevertheless, it turns out that there are many more Afghan asylum seekers in the Islamic republic who have yet to be counted.

The international community and Afghan authorities have repeatedly said that the Islamic Republic of Iran and its people have been kind in hosting refugees, despite the fact that the country has been suffering from economic hardships caused by Western pressures and sanctions.

Iran is the fourth-largest host country for asylum seekers, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Last year's hasty departure of American soldiers from Afghanistan resurrected instability in the nation, forcing millions of Afghans to abandon their homeland once more.

Iran opened border crossings and accepted a large number of refugees, including professors from Afghanistan's institutions, who were housed in Ferdowsi University's residential units in Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan Province.

Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, stated that all Afghan refugees' children in Iran should be provided education services, demonstrating that Iranians are welcoming to asylum seekers from the eastern nation.

Refugees from Afghanistan are permitted to attend Iranian universities. During the coronavirus epidemic, Iran vaccinated a large number of Afghan refugees, which was commended by international organizations and other governments.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted Iran as a "very significant country" among UN member states, praising the Islamic Republic for generously sheltering Afghan refugees.

“Iran carries highest burden in area as refugee backer”

The Iranian president's special representative for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, has said Iran bears the heaviest burden of refugees among regional countries.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran bears the heaviest burden of refugees in accordance with Islamic, humane standards and by preserving interests among the countries of the region,” he noted. 

In a tweet on World Refugee Day, Qomi remarked, "The performance of human rights defenders in accepting Afghan, Syrian and Iraqi refugees and prioritizing Ukrainian refugees is contrary to their claims."

“Iran, without the support of international organizations, has accommodated hundreds of thousands of new refugees in the recent crisis in Afghanistan and has now covered millions of refugees with its services,” the official pointed out. 

Afghanistan praises Iran for inimitable hospitality

On World Refugee Day, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai lauded the Islamic Republic's compassion, saying that Iranians had been hosting Afghan refugees for four decades.
Stanikzai delivered the statements during a conference titled "Future of Relations Between Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries". 

According to Afghan media, this summit was held in Kabul, with Taliban officials and Ambassadors from Afghanistan's neighbors in attendance.

During the conference, Afghanistan's deputy foreign minister applauded Iran for its hospitality to Afghan refugees over the last four decades, adding that the country has fulfilled its Islamic responsibilities by sheltering millions of Afghan refugees over the past four decades.

Afghanistan, according to Stanikzai, "calls on neighboring nations to be patient and treat asylum seekers with patience until the return conditions are favorable."

He also urged neighboring countries to collaborate for a prosperous Afghanistan, adding that by banding together, “we will not allow foreigners to interfere in Afghanistan and the region, because the presence of foreigners in the region is destabilizing.”

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