Talks on Asylum Seekers

Talks on Asylum SeekersTalks on Asylum Seekers

The deputy foreign minister for consular affairs has said an Australian delegation is likely to visit Tehran to review the situation of Iranian asylum seekers.

Speaking to ISNA on Friday on the sidelines of the 20th Press and News Agencies Exhibition in Tehran, Hassan Qashqavi referred to the latest measures taken by the foreign ministry in response to reports that some Iranian asylum seekers are mistreated in Australian camps and said, "Talks are underway between Iranian and Australian officials and even foreign ministers.

The Iranian foreign minister has held negotiations with his Australian counterpart on the issue."

"Three separate Australian delegations, comprised of officials from the country's ministry of foreign affairs and immigration organization, have visited Iran over the past three years, in which we voiced our objection," he noted.       

He stated that the exchange of delegations will continue and another Australian group is likely to pay a visit to Tehran to discuss the "desperate plight" of Iranian asylum seekers.

"No fruitful results have been emerged from the talks so far," he added.

Referring to poor conditions in some Australian camps where Iranian asylum seekers are held, he said some Iranians have suffered from food poisoning or even died.

"In fact, seeking asylum in Australia equals death, a journey to death," he said.  

He continued, "We have repeatedly expressed our objections to the Australian government and each time they have pledged to take actions, but no concrete steps have been taken so far."

He also criticized the media at home for not making sufficient efforts to raise public awareness about the realities that asylum seekers face, adding, "(Unfortunately), the media do not inform the youth on the process, (a fact) which creates challenges for the young people and also for the foreign ministry."