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Foreign provocations cannot undermine Tehran-Kabul ties: Iran Foreign Ministry

Iran’s Foreign Ministry says provocative measures taken to torpedo relations between Iran and Afghanistan over a recent border incident involving Afghan nationals will fail to undermine the two countries’ close ties.

“#Iran and #Afghanistan, as two brotherly nations, have strong, deep-rooted relations” based on common historical and cultural bonds, the ministry said in a string of tweets on Monday, adding, “No ill-intended foreign provocation can undermines” the close relations.

During recent weeks, certain news outlets in Afghanistan and outside have been trying to take advantage of a recent deadly incident along the two countries’ common border, which left several Afghan nationals dead, to scuttle friendly relations between Tehran and Kabul.

Afghanistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement last month that an inquiry has been launched to assess claims that dozens of Afghans who were trying to enter Iran from bordering Herat Province were beaten and pushed into the Harirud River by Iranian border guards.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi reacted by noting that the incident befalling a number of Afghan citizens at a border region close to the Iranian soil had taken place on the Afghan side of the border and Iran’s border guards had no part in it.

On Saturday, Robert A. Destro, who serves as the US assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, posted a tweet claiming that the Iranian police had been involved in the incident affecting Afghan citizens, urging Iran to “respect #HumanRights and cease violence against refugees. #WorldRefugeeDay.”

Reacting to Destro’s tweet, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in its Monday tweet, “Look who’s talking about the rights of refugees! A government whose campaign motto was to “build a wall” and has been repeatedly condemned for its cruel border policies (e. g. separating migrant children from their parents), is lecturing the world about #WorldRefugeeDay.”

It added that Iran has hosted for decades millions of Afghan refugees “who have fled the war & clashes that were ignited by US meddling &invasion.”

“We’ll continue to support our Afghan brothers &sisters during their hardships,& again we call on US to end its destabilizing presence in our region,” the Iranian ministry pointed out.

The tweets came a day after Afghan’s acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, who is on an official two-day visit to Tehran, held talks with Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The top Iranian security official said, “While our police force has played no role in such incidents, undocumented media attacks against Iran by some Afghan officials and media outlets are both surprising and cause of regret.”

“There is solid evidence to refuse allegations against Iran in this regard, which if the Afghan side were willing, could be discussed away from unconstructive propaganda,” Shamkhani said.

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