May 29, 2023

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World should know Iran’s services to refugees: IOM

TEHRAN – Lalini Veerassamy, the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, has said the world should know the services that are offered to refugees in Iran.

“I believe that the world should know what Iran is doing for the people of Afghanistan and should know that all these services are based on humanitarian principles that the international organization encourages,” she added.

“I thank you for this responsibility and the actions and services you have provided to Afghan immigrants in this country over the decades.”

She made the remarks in a meeting with the Japanese Ambassador to Iran Kazutoshi Aikawa that was held in the city of Kerman in the presence of Governor General Mohammad-Mehdi Fadakar.

“We try to increase our support in this field. Of course, the support of international organizations is needed to provide better services.”

“The International Organization for Migration has a broad presence in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkey and we hope to provide the same services in Iran with the support of the Iranian government,” she stressed.

Iran is home to over 800,000 registered refugees and some 2.6 million undocumented Afghans.

Many of the refugees living in Iran are second and third-generation, according to the UNHCR. 

In October 2022, the Iranian delegation at the 73rd meeting of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner for Refugees said with the continued allocation of insufficient international aid, it is very difficult and almost impossible for the Islamic Republic to continue providing services to refugees and unauthorized foreign nationals.

Despite the cruel and unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, Iran has so far hosted a large number of refugees beyond its fair share.

Several decades of hosting refugees as well as undocumented Afghan citizens have created huge economic and social costs for Iran.

For this long time, the Islamic Republic has pursued this mission despite numerous economic and social problems caused by regional crises as well as illegal and unfair sanctions, along with insufficient international aid and mainly using limited domestic resources.

It is appropriate to increase international aid to accommodate foreign citizens in the country and not to be forgotten when new crises arise.

Filippo Grandi, the High Commissioner for Refugees, while thanking Iran for its long-term measures in supporting Afghan refugees, stressed the need to increase international support for Iran and implement sustainable solutions, including the voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons.

António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, has praised Iran’s generosity which – for decades – has hosted millions of Afghans in need.

I will never forget the generosity of countries like Pakistan and Iran, which – for decades – have hosted millions of Afghans in need,” Guterres said in a statement released on January 26 to the Security Council on Afghanistan.


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