UNHCR Holds More Talks with Iran in Case of US Attack on Afghanistan
Iranian authorities and the UN refugee agency held further talks here Wednesday in case of US strikes on Afghanistan which Tehran fears could lead to a mass influx of refugees.
"The discussions are continuing. The Iranian government has proposed to establish camps on the border [with Iran] inside Afghanistan. Our concern is to assure the protection of these people," Bo Schack, interim head of a UNHCR office in Iran, told AFP.
"It requires a tacit agreement from the Taliban on security questions," he said, referring to the ruling militia in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, the UNHCR has just one team made up of Afghans in Herat, around 100 kilometers from Iran's northeast border, he said.
So far, no arrival of Afghan refugees has been signaled in Iran, Schack said referring to fears among officials here over an influx of refugees in case of US strikes against Afghanistan in retaliation for the September 11 terror attacks in the United States.
"But everything can change quickly," he said.
Iran, already home to more than one million Afghan refugees, does not recognize the Taliban militia which ousted Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani in 1996.
On Saturday, Iran began sealing off its 900-kilometer border with Afghanistan to prevent an influx -- TEHRAN (AFP)
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