Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Iran Threatens to Let Migrants, Narcotics Flood Europe

Iran has threatened to allow migrants and narcotics to flood European countries as it cannot pay the costs of fighting terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal migrants alone, especially now that it is under the US’ harshest sanctions ever.

Hesamoddin Ashena, an advisor to the Iranian president, warned the West – particularly the European countries – of the repercussions of the sanctions imposed unilaterally by the US on the Islamic Republic, saying the bans will hamper Iran’s contribution to fight against terrorists, drug smugglers and illegal migrants heading to Europe.

In a thread of tweets, Ashena said if the US continues to impose economic pressure on Iran, the Islamic Republic won’t be able anymore to play an active role in fight against terrorists.

“If the sanctions keep going on, Iran won’t be able to play an active role in fight against terrorists and prevent them from returning to their homelands in Europe,” he said in a tweet.

Ashena went on to say that amid the sanctions, Iran won’t either be able to play a role in preventing smugglers from transferring drug cargoes from the east to the west.

He then referred to the flow of migrants from the Middle East to the West and said Iran can’t contribute any further to efforts to manage and prevent the flow from the East to the West if the sanctions remain in place.  

Earlier, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araghchi declared that Iran would consider asking Afghan refugees to leave the country if the US keeps imposing economic pressure on the country.

“For the last 40 years, we have hosted immigrants from Afghanistan… Right now, over 3 million Afghans live in Iran, and according to some estimates they are holding over 2 million jobs, and 3 or 4 billion euros are taken out of the country by these people,” he said in a televised interview on Wednesday.

Araqchi underlined that when the US sanctions have an impact, the Islamic Republic is forced to implement special policies for the economy. “And it’s possible we will reach a point where we cannot continue paying these costs, and in that case, we may ask our Afghan brothers and sisters to leave Iran.”

Meanwhile, in a letter to the remaining parties to the JCPOA on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran is not asking for them to take action for the interest of Iran “but for the interest and future and your own country, you have a responsibility to act.”

Rouhani said Iran’s hosting of refugees has prevented a “wave” of them from flocking to Europe. He said Iran has paid a heavy price in fight against drugs and has lost thousands of soldiers fighting drug smuggling on the border, but may now reconsider its policies if Europe fails to help.

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