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While Europe builds walls to keep refugees out, Iran opens gates to let them in: Political scientist

This handout picture obtained from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) on November 10, 2021, shows NRC’s Director-General Jan Egeland (C) visiting Afghan refugees in Bardsir settlement in Iran’s southern province of Kerman. (Via AFP)

While Europe builds walls to prevent the entry of refugees, Iran opens its gates to let them in, despite being hit hard with the harshest rounds of sanctions, says a US-based political scientist.

“According to the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, the number of Afghan refugees residing in Iran is more than the total of 30 European countries,” Mohsen Milani, Professor of Politics at the University of South Florida, wrote in a tweet in Persian on Thursday.

Milani added that Iran is doing this while not receiving any significant financial assistance from European countries.

“When Europe builds walls to prevent the entry of refugees, Iran, whose back is breaking under [US] sanctions, has kept its doors open,” he added.

During a visit to Iran this week, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Secretary General Jan Egeland pointed to the influx of Afghan refugees into Iran since the United States’ hasty and disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying Iran “cannot be expected to host so many Afghans with so little support from the international community.”

“There must be an immediate scale-up of aid both inside Afghanistan and in neighboring countries like Iran, before the deadly winter cold,” Egeland said, lauding Iran for welcoming and hosting millions of displaced Afghans during the past four decades.

The Norwegian Refugee Council also urged European nations to stop deporting Afghan asylum seekers and review all failed applications in light of the crisis.

“Nearly 5 million Afghans remain displaced outside of the country. Of these, 90 percent are hosted by the Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan,” the council reported.

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