Foreign Ministry to Allocate Budget to Release of Iranian Prisoners Abroad

Hassan Qashqavi

Hassan Qashqavi, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister, highlighted the considerable increase in the country’s services given to the Iranians living abroad including those incarcerated.

Qashqavi recently appeared on a live interview with IRIB’s international TV channel, Jame Jam, and gave details about the services the country gives to the Iranians living overseas including those imprisoned.

“Statistics gathered from the country’s embassies and agencies throughout the world indicate that Iranians living abroad are enjoying an increased amount of services inasmuch as 20 to 30 per cent,” Qashqavi stressed, as reported by ISNA and translated by IFP.


Services to Iranian Inmates Abroad

Qashqavi hailed Iran’s attempts to protect the rights of Iranian prisoners overseas and said, “Around 800 inmates incarcerated in 40 to 50 countries are released annually.”

Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Parliament to allocate part of the country’s next year budget for supporting prisoners abroad.

“Providing further support for Iranian prisoners, hiring defence lawyers, and holding negotiation for their freedom are among the services planned to be provided by the Ministry,” he added.

“Thanks to the the attempts made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have Iranian prisoners released, we have been successful in some cases,” he noted.

“Some have been swapped and a few others are spending their sentence terms in Iran.”

Qashqavi pointed to the Iranian families living abroad and said, “If members of their families are imprisoned there, hereby I give them an assurance that officials in Iranian embassies will spare no effort to help them if they refer to our embassy in that country.”


Fast Consular Services

Qashqavi emphasized that most Iranian agencies abroad provide consular services within a span of one day, except for a few countries where it takes one week at most.

“Visa is also issued very quickly because the government does it electronically,” he stressed.

Iran is one of the few countries that issues visas at the airport, he noted, adding, “Except for 10 countries including the US, Britain, Canada and a few others, which act in accordance with the Law of Reciprocal Actions, travellers from other countries can receive 90-day visas on-arrival.”


Diplomatic Relations with Britain and Canada

Regarding the status of diplomatic and consular relations with Britain and Canada, Qashqavi pointed to the legislation passed in the Parliament and said, “Accordingly, Iran’s diplomatic relations with Britain is at the level of charge d’affaires. Meanwhile, efforts by both sides to improve relations are in progress.”

“Consular services for Iranians are agonisingly slow, though,” he regretted.

“Although there have been changes in Canada’s approach towards Iran, the process of visa issuance is still unaffected,” he argued.

Therefore, he added, Iranians who want to obtain visa to travel to Canada are required to refer to the country’s Interests Section or try neighbouring countries.”