“Afghanistan was very much present in the conversation, especially in the wake of the recent developments that we witnessed in August with the change in the government,” Robert Mardini told AFP referring to his two-day trip to Tehran to meet Iranian authorities.
“The discussions were positive. We see eye to eye,” said Mardini, director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Saying that the Islamic republic now hosts a total of five million Afghans, according to Iran’s foreign ministry, Mardini said the ICRC discussed with Iran’s Red Crescent discussed the ways of “providing critical health services to Afghan migrants and refugees”.
“We did that during the Covid pandemic where the Iranian Red Crescent, with our support, was able to provide vaccination services to Afghan migrants,” he said.
Mardini said he also discussed in Iran the situations in Yemen and Syria and the effects of the armed conflicts, as well as climate change, in those countries.
Talks with Iranian officials at the foreign and interior ministries also focused on the fate of missing persons from the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, he said.
According to him, “around 40,000” people are still considered missing from that eight-year Imposed War which ended in 1988.
“We support the two governments in clarifying the fate of the missing persons… Every year, on average, there are between 600 and 800 human remains that are being repatriated to their families,” Mardini told AFP.