Iran hosts Afghans with best amenities: FM spox

TEHRAN, May 12 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said that Islamic Republic of Iran is hosting over three million Afghans and it has entertained them with the best facilities over the past 40 years without any discrimination.

He made the remarks on Monday in response to questions and media hypes over drowning of a number of Afghan nationals in the joint border river.

Providing jobs, free education, free health facilities and many other facilities that are widely available to Afghan guests are indicative of Iran's good hospitality, he added.

From the first hours some reports were published in various media about the issue, the relevant institutions put a quick and accurate investigation of the incident on the agenda, he said, noting, “since the issue was related to the lives of human beings, especially the citizens of the brotherly and neighboring country, Afghanistan, the issue was dealt with double sensitivity and an attempt was also made to take all the aspects of the incident into account at the earliest.”

Accordingly, all relevant institutions, including the political and border departments in Foreign Ministry, the police, the Interior Ministry, the Intelligence Ministry and General Staff of the Armed Forces, were mobilized to obtain a comprehensive assessment and clarify the facts, Mousavi said.

Due to the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19, and with the aim of keeping border guards away from being infected with the virus, Islamic Republic of Iran did not set up any camp in border regions and any claims such as transfer of Afghan nationals to the camp or forcing them to forced labor, etc. is ‘sheer lie’, Foreign Ministry spokesman added.

He further noted that according to confirmed reports received from the border guards of the Islamic Republic of Iran, there has been no such incident at that time, nor have there been any clashes between the Iranian forces and Afghan nationals.

However, due to respect for the demands of the friendly and neighborly government of Afghanistan and despite full confidence in the report of the Iranian border guards, all relevant agencies were ordered to carefully and comprehensively review the issue.

The results of additional investigations by other agencies also confirm the border guard's report and completely reject the occurrence of the incident as well as alleged involvement.

It is not surprising to see officials or media of third governments whose usual policy is to seize any opportunity to deal a blow at Iran and harm good relations between the two neighbors leveling empty accusations against Iran's border forces, Mousavi said.

"I would like to emphasize once again that the Iran and Afghanistan have long borders, which, despite many ups and downs, have long been a good example of cooperation and friendly relations," he said.

MA/IRN83784352

News Code 158606

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