Iranian presidential hopeful announces three-step policy on Afghan refugees 

Massoud Pezeshkian, one of the six presidential candidates in Iran’s snap elections, has announced his policy regarding the influx of millions of refugees from neighboring Afghanistan. 

Pezeshkian, who has the backing of top reformist figures in the country for the June 28 polls, said in a post on X social media platform on Friday that the interior ministry will be tasked with completely sealing the borders to stop the inflow new migrants as the first step.

The top contender, who according to opinion polls has high chances of winning the vote, said he would organize the current migrants and negotiate with European countries to accept some of the immigrants or at least bear the costs of their stay in Iran as his next moves.

He wrote, “It cannot be denied that a large number of our Afghan brothers play an effective role in Iran’s economy and have made sacrifices in the (Iraqi) imposed war, but their presence in Iran should be organized, and the responsibility falls on the interior and intelligence ministries.”

“The West should accept responsibility for what it has done in Afghanistan which has led to the migration of millions of Afghans. There is no reason for the Iranian people to pay for the wrong policies of others,” he added.

Iran hosts over 8 million Afghan refugees, many of them undocumented, on humanitarian grounds. But the issue is turning into a social malady as the number of refugees is spiraling out of control.

All of the candidates have almost two weeks to express their stances on a vast array of issues through different media and platforms and are given equal airtime on the state-run media.

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