KABUL (Pajhwok): Faced with mounting economic pressure from the United States, Iran says it may consider expelling Afghan refugees.
America’s pressure on Iran has been on the rise after President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
In an interview with IRNA on Friday, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said: “For the last 40 years, we have accepted immigrants from Afghanistan…”
More than 3 million Afghan citizens were currently residing in Iran, holding more than 2 million jobs, he said, adding they were sending up to four billion euros to their families in Afghanistan.
Over 400,000 Afghans were enrolled public schools in Iran, each costing the state 600 euros a year, Araghchi explained. More than 23,000 Afghans are admitted to Iranian colleges, each costing 15,000 euros annually.
“When American sanctions have an impact and Iran’s financial resources, we are forced to implement special policies for the economy.
“It’s possible we will reach a point where we cannot continue paying these costs, and in that case, it’s possible that we will ask our Afghan brothers and sisters to leave Iran,” he remarked.
Araqchi blamed Western countries for creating problems for the Afghan people. He asked the West to discharge their duty toward the Afghan refugees.
The issue of refugees and asylum seekers was an international problem and helping them was also a global responsibility, the minister argued.