Turkish border wall causes serious environmental problems for Iran: senior official

A senior Iranian official has criticized Turkey for creating “serious” environmental problems by building a wall along the border between the two countries.

In an interview with Iran’s al-Alam TV channel, Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mir Ahmadi said the wall being built along the Iranian border was part of a strategy designed by Turkey based on its own assessment of the threats it faced at the border. areas.

“We have had and will have no problems in this respect as long as our [country’s] the geographical and territorial limits are respected but [the border wall] has caused us serious environmental problems and has affected our rivers and our environment,” he added.

The official noted that Iran has briefed Turkish officials on environmental issues and is awaiting necessary reforms.

Construction of the 295 kilometer wall along the border with Iran is currently underway and is expected to be completed by 2023.

Ankara says the construction work aims to improve security by stopping the infiltration of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants and “illegal smugglers”.

Some five million Afghan refugees live in Iran

The Interior Ministry official further said that some five million Afghan refugees are currently living in Iran, which is among the top hosts of refugees in the world.

Mir Ahmadi noted that Iran has plans to organize Afghan refugees and is currently working to implement them.

Iran has been facing a new wave of refugees from Afghanistan since the country fell under the control of the Taliban group in August.

Iran has criticized the lack of global financial support for refugees in Iran, saying funds provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have not matched the size of the country’s refugee programs .

Authorities have warned that if sufficient support is not provided to deal with the refugees, the influx could reach countries in Europe.

“Border clashes with the Taliban must be settled”

Elsewhere in his interview, Mir Ahmadi said Taliban forces were unfamiliar with border guard duties and sometimes engaged in clashes with Iranian forces, stressing the importance of adopting measures to gradually resolve the problem.

Iran believes that Taliban forces are not seeking to get involved in a dispute with Iranian border guards and said it is ready to train Afghan forces in relevant tasks, he added.

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