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Iran denies any role in Afghan border incident but says ready to cooperate for investigation


A view of the Iranian Foreign Ministry building in Tehran

Iran has once again rejected any involvement in a recent incident befalling a number of Afghan citizens at a border region but has expressed readiness to work with the Kabul government to investigate the issue.

As previously announced by Iranian officials, "We strongly deny the reports that a number of Afghan nationals were forced by Iranian border guards into Harir River (Harirud) to return to Afghanistan,"Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Wednesday.

"Despite the fact that the issue is unrelated to Iran and per the request of Afghan officials and due to fraternal relations based on the principles of goodwill and good neighborliness, today the ministry, in an official note to the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Tehran, voiced the relevant Iranian officialsíreadiness to work with the Afghan side to investigate the allegations," raised against Tehran, Mousavi added.

He noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran considers its borders with Afghanistan as the frontiers of peace and friendship, and "reaffirms its determination and will to maintain friendly and brotherly relations with Afghanistan based on mutual respect."

The remarks came after reports surfaced last week, alleging that Iran hadmistreated and thrown dozens of Afghan immigrants into the river, shared by both Afghanistan and Iran, to prevent their illegal entry into the country.

Residents in a district in the Afghan border province of Herat said the incident took place on Saturday, with Afghan media claiming that at least 20 people were drowned.

The Kabul government has launched a probe into the claims.

Meanwhile, Iran has roundlyrejected the claims, saying the incident took place on the Afghan side of the border and that Iranian forces had no role in the incident.

The allegations come as some three million Afghans, including refugees, passport holders, and undocumented ones, have sought safety in Iran over the past 40 years.

Iran spends $8 billion on Afghans every year in various sectors. Besides, an exemplary policy in Iran lets Afghan children attend public school, whether they are registered refugees, passport holders or even undocumented.

While urging the Afghan nationals to return home voluntarily to contribute to the reconstruction of their homeland, Iran has repeatedly complained that the countries that caused the displacement of Afghans must accept responsibility and help cover the costs.

The UN refugee agency has, on numerous occasions, praised Iran for hosting Afghan refugees for more than four decades.

Last month, the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Iran, Ivo Freijsen, hailed as an "important achievement" the countryís hosting of Afghan refugees for more than four decades.

"As UNHCR, we want to first and foremost underscore and highlight that it has been commendable that Iran has been hosting refugees primarily from Afghanistan for more than 40 years now, which is an important feature and an important achievement, a commendable achievement," Freijsen said in an exclusive interview with Iran Press on April 18.

"Iran has done very well over the years in making basic social services accessible for refugees," the UN official pointed out.

 

SOURCE: PRESS TV

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/17073


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