Iraq + 1 more

Tehran sends mixed signals on Iraqi refugees

Iranian police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said on 15 January, "No refugees will be allowed into our territory if America attacks Iraq," IRNA reported. Ahmad Husseini, the Iranian Interior Ministry official in charge of dealing with refugees, said on 15 January that, in the event of a war, Iran would send assistance to potential refugees while they are still in Iraq, IRNA reported. However, Husseini also said Iran envisages establishing 19 camps in a strip along the border, so that no camp is more than 10 kilometers inside Iranian territory. Husseini predicted that a war in Iraq could create some 800,000 refugees, and he described Tehran's official policy. "The Islamic Republic's policy is to help Iraqi officials settle refugees inside the Iraqi territory, and Iran will refrain from accepting refugees into its soil," he said. BS


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