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Cablegate: Iranian Forced Repatriations Anger Parliament

VZCZCXRO6970
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #3480 2841410
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 111410Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0870
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4244
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS KABUL 003480

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA.FO DAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A,
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE,
NSC FOR JWOOD
OSD FOR KIMMETT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM AF PREF
SUBJECT: IRANIAN FORCED REPATRIATIONS ANGER PARLIAMENT

REF: A. REF A: KABUL 1605 AND PREVIOUS
B. REF B: KABUL 3386

1. (U) During the October 8 session of Parliament's Lower
House, incensed MPs once again accused the Iranian government
of systematically mistreating Afghan refugees and
unregistered migrants (REF A). Media reports that 16 Afghan
minors had recently been condemned to death by an Iranian
court triggered MPs' anger. They denounced a perceived
Iranian policy of pressuring refugee departures and urged
Tehran not to implement its rumored plans to expel 20,000
Afghans within the next several weeks (REF B). The next day,
the Upper House drafted a letter to its Iranian counterpart
requesting the expulsions be delayed on humanitarian grounds
due to the onset of harsh winter weather.

2. (U) Lower House members' indignation flared when Humaira
Aka Khail, MP from Balkh province, alleged that the 16
condemned minors, families would be compelled to purchase
the rope by which their children would be hanged. Ramazan
Bashardost, MP from Kabul, charged that Iran had long
restricted Afghan refugees to menial laboring jobs that
Iranians refused to undertake. Another Kabul MP, Mohammad
Kabir Ranjbar, complained that Iran,s refugee expulsion
plans are an insult to Afghanistan's national integrity and
prestige. He urged UN intervention to stop the expulsions.
Other MPs took the opportunity to accuse Iran of meddling in
Afghan politics. Qazi Nazir Ahmad, MP from Herat province,
which adjoins Iran, complained "we have border problems with
all neighboring countries, especially with Iran." Ghazni MP
Khan Mohammad said our "security officials confirmed that
Iran is interfering in Afghanistan, even as U.S. forces
reported a year ago." Mohammad and several other MPs called
for a retributive cooling in the bilateral relationship.

3. (SBU) Comment: Afghans are too preoccupied with the
insurgency and personal security worries to expend much
concern on Iran's possible machinations against their
interests. Nevertheless, disagreements over forced
repatriations, water rights, and Iran's gathering concerns
about Afghanistan as source for narcotics and a possible
haven for Baloch separatists will tend to feed tension in the
bilateral relationship.

WOOD

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