Iran: U.S. sanctions hampering humanitarian aid to Afghan refugees

Internally displaced Afghans at a camp outside Kabul, Afghanistan, during a visit by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres June 14, 2017. REUTERS/Josh Smith - RTS170LZ

Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva Esmail Baghaei has warned that unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States are hampering humanitarian efforts to help Afghan refugees.

“The negative consequences of oppressive U.S. sanctions affect the capacity of host countries to support Afghan refugees and prevent the realization of the principle of humanitarian solidarity in helping Afghans,” Baghaei explained during the 72nd session of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees in the Swiss city.

For decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been a major destination for Afghan refugees fleeing war. There are currently millions of registered and undocumented Afghan refugees in Iran. The country has been targeted by many rounds of U.S. sanctions which have made trade including the purchase of much needed medicine and pharmaceuticals increasingly difficult for Iranians.

The Iranian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva also called for the formation of an inclusive Afghan government which represents all ethnicities and religions and respects human rights and has good relations with neighboring countries.

Baghaei also referred to the negative consequences of military intervention in Afghanistan, saying that lasting peace and stability are Afghanistan’s priorities.

“The people of Afghanistan deserve international understanding and support in such a situation. In Afghanistan, no humanitarian aid can be substituted for lasting peace and stability, and the international community must properly fulfill its responsibility to support the Afghan people,” he stated.

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