MNA – Iran has called on the western countries to take up on their responsibilities towards the Afghan refugees as an international duty regarding the immigrants.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Friday that supporting immigrants and refugees is an international issue and therefore, bearing the responsibilities over them falls upon all countries.
“For the last 40 years, we have warmly welcomed immigrants from Afghanistan and other countries, and whenever our neighbors faced problems, Iran accepted its brothers and sisters.”
However, he said, other governments and international organizations, “especially the western states that have been the cause of many sufferings for Afghan people,” should also shoulder the responsibility for supporting them.
This can be done by receiving the refugees in their countries or fulfilling their financial needs, he added.
Noting that this is a serious call by the Islamic Republic, Araghchi said, “Right now, more than 3 million Afghan citizens live in Iran, and according to some estimates they are holding more than 2 million jobs, and 3 or 4 billion euros leave our country, with those who make a living in Iran sending their money to their families in Afghanistan.”
“There are about 468,000 Afghans attending public schools in Iran, each costing the state 600 euros a year, and more than 23,000 college students, each costing 15,000 euros annually.”
He noted that expelling refugees is not on the government’s agenda, however, should the US’ sanctions impact Iran’s oil sale and reduce its revenues, Iran would have to consider new approaches toward them, hinting that Afghans would likely then look toward Europe for refuge.