UNHCR offers assistance to Iran over refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has offered to provide the Islamic Republic of Iran with any assistance regarding refugees affairs.

During a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the 68th annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres pointed to Iran’s diverse services to Afghan refugees and described the cooperation between Tehran and the UN agency as strategic, unique and exemplary.

Iran’s cooperation has been strong and we are willing to maintain and bolster it, he added.

The Iranian foreign minister pointed to the limited international assistance to Iran for Afghan refugees compared to the notable services Iran offers to immigrants and refugees, stressing that the Islamic Republic is facing numerous challenges concerning the education, health, organization and security of refugees.

He also voiced Iran’s readiness to maintain cooperation with the UN refugee agency on refugee affairs, including the Afghan refugees.

During a meeting with the visiting Afghan Minister of Refugees and Repatriation Jamaher Anwari in Tehran on September 4, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli stated that Afghan citizens should travel to Iran through legal channels.

Iran settles refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan based on an understanding that conditions inside their countries are not proper. The Iranian government has given the refugee status to people from Iraq and Afghanistan on that basis.

Bernard Doyle, UNHCR Representative in Iran, said in early September that there are 882,659 refugees living in Iran, of which 840,158 are from Afghanistan and the rest come from Iraq.

He added that some 936,907 Afghans have so far returned voluntarily to their homeland.

By Press TV


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