Diplomacy

Atmar visits Iran amid heightened tensions over killing of Afghan migrants

Salaam Times and AFP

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Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Muhammad Hanif Atmar (left) is seen in this photo taken June 21 as he stands next to his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Tehran. [Afghan Foreign Ministry]

TEHRAN -- Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Muhammad Hanif Atmar visited Tehran on Sunday (June 21) as tensions persist between the two countries following the deaths of Afghan migrants at the hands of Iranian security forces last month.

Photos of Atmar's meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, along with Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, were published Saturday (June 20) by the Afghan Foreign Ministry.

Atmar and Zarif discussed the deadly incident that occurred at the Afghan-Iranian border, according to a statement by the Afghan Foreign Ministry June 21.

"During the meeting, the two countries' inter-ministerial delegations discussed the recent tragedy in Afghanistan, the pursuit of investigations and solutions to prevent its recurrence," the ministry said.

The visit follows the deaths in May of several Afghan migrants who were allegedly forced into a river by Iranian border guards and drowned.

The migrants died while they were illegally crossing into Iran from Herat Province, say Afghan officials.

Eighteen bodies, some bearing signs of torture and beatings, were recovered from the Harirud River, while other migrants were reported missing in an incident that sparked anger and protests in Afghanistan.

Fifty-five migrants were forced into the river, said one Afghan official.

Iranian authorities have dismissed the accusations, saying the incident occurred inside Afghanistan's territory.

President Ashraf Ghani ordered an investigation into the drownings, a move welcomed by the United States, at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The meeting also comes after an incident earlier this month in Yazd Province which three Afghans died and several others were injured after a car chase with police, Iranian media reported.

The driver of the vehicle "defied police instructions and failed to stop at a checkpoint", said one Iranian official.

About 3.5 million Afghans, including almost a million refugees, live in Iran, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Tens of thousands returned to Afghanistan after the start of the novel coronavirus outbreak, but as restrictions have eased in hard-hit Iran, many are again seeking work there.

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Iranians have always concealed their crimes which they have committed against our Afghans and deny whatever they have done. This is not the first time that they refuse to have committed the crimes. It is of no use to have meeting and discuss with these stupid and inept people. International relations with this country should be cut permanently, because it is for the benefit of Afghanistan. This country must not kill our oppressed Afghans on different pretexts.

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Unfortunately, Afghanistan has always bowed down to the powerful countries, because it neither has good policy nor does it have military power. In its policy, the government dealt and is dealing with all countries with moderateness. Therefore, a country which is not independent in all dimensions and its president seizes all the power, the situation will not get better. It would be better if the national assembly of Afghanistan makes a right decision in the ground, but if the members of national assembly also think about doing their own business, then may God have mercy on the plight of the oppressed nation of Afghanistan.

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These visits do not have any benefits to Afghanistan. The best way is to sever ties with Iran. Iran is no longer a good neighbor for the Afghan people. The Afghan government must try to prevent the country's influence in Afghanistan and take a complete preparation to confront the Fatemiyoun group, because ISIS has been defeated in Syria, and the group has entered Iran from there. Iran is obliged to transfer the group to Afghanistan, and will use it to achieve its goals in Afghanistan. At the moment, a serious war is going on between the Fatemiyoun group and the nomads in Maidan Wardak province, and the group has attacked the nomads. If the government does not take action in this regard, a very serious ethnic war will break out in Maidan Wardak province, and then no one will be able to stop the killings and bloodshed.

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Yesterday, I saw a twitter's post. An Iranian has written that Afghanistan does not release water through talks, its way of solution is to hit Kajaki dam with 15 rounds of missiles so that the dam is broken and water comes to Iran. Afghanistan should get weapons and equipment from America and other allies and place it on the border with Iran, and if Iran is making destruction again, a harsh revenge should be taken from them.

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