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Iran rejects Afghan recruitment report in US paper

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Iran has dismissed as “totally baseless” recent accusations leveled in a US newspaper about the Islamic Republic’s recruitment of Afghan refugees for war in Syria.

“This claim by the American newspaper is completely baseless and has been made with the purpose of tarnishing Iran’s image in Afghanistan and depicting a totally inhumane picture [of Iran] to citizens of this friendly and neighboring country,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal claimed in a report on May 15 that Iran has been recruiting thousands of Afghan refugees to fight in Syria, offering USD 500 a month and Iran’s citizenship to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against foreign-backed militants.

“As published in news outlets, Afghan officials have not confirmed such a claim,” Afkham added.

She urged the paper to apologize to the Afghan people for insulting them, adding that the failure of warmongers in Syria has made them spread lies and provoke the Afghan people.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has put the death toll from the foreign-backed militancy against the government of President Assad at more than 160,000.

Reports say millions of people have been displaced due to the violence fueled by the foreign-backed militants.

According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

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