Iranian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Amir Saeed Iravani highlighted the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and warned against withholding humanitarian aid to the country for political purposes.
“The situation (in Afghanistan) remains dire, with an estimated 28 million people projected to require humanitarian and protection assistance in 2023,” the envoy said before a United Nations Security Council briefing on the situation in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
“However, we must be cautious of the politicization or exploitation of humanitarian aid for political purposes,” Iravani asserted, noting, “Such practices would harm the Afghan people who depend on this aid for their survival.”
“It is also crucial that the release of frozen assets belonging to the Afghan people is expedited and not subject to political conditions. This is critical for restoring the Afghan economy and saving lives.”
Afghanistan has about $9 billion in assets overseas, including $7 billion in the United States. The rest is mostly in Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and Switzerland.
Last February, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order allocating $3.5 billion in Afghan assets for humanitarian aid to a trust fund to be managed by the UN to provide aid to Afghans, and $3.5 billion allocated for the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“To ensure that the Afghan people receive the support they need, humanitarian aid must remain impartial and unconditional,” Iravani, however, stated.
He reminded that Iran was hosting more than five million Afghan people, despite receiving minimum support from the international community and donor countries and facing challenges caused by the inhumane unilateral sanctions of the United States and its Western allies.
The ambassador, meanwhile, repeated Iran’s call for formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, which has been under the Taliban’s control since the US’s withdrawal of its forces from the Central Asian country in 2021.