IRGC chief: Totally defeated, enemies not safe in any territory
The chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said there is no safe territory for the enemies, as “they have been defeated in all their conspiracies and have been rendered helpless, tired, and disappointed”.
Major General Hossein Salami made the remarks while addressing a ceremony in Tehran on Sunday evening, saying, “We are victorious today and this is what the facts of the field say,” Press TV reported.
“Today, the swords of the Muslims to fight the enemies have been unsheathed, and [thus], there is no safe territory for the enemies,” Major General Salami added.
He noted that Iran’s missile strikes against U.S. military bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC Quds Force, was a “slap on the face” of the U.S., which saw itself as the world emperor.
“Whose face was this slap delivered on?” he asked, rhetorically. “It was a stinging slap in the face of the United States, which considered itself the emperor of the world and did not stop making threats of tit-for-tat retaliations.”
Major General Salami further said that unlike the Americans, “we did not assassinate a defenseless and unarmed commander, who was fighting terrorism across the Muslim world and had traveled to Iraq at an official invitation, with a drone and in the dead of the night”.
The IRGC chief commander also stressed that Iran has yet to fully wreak its harsh revenge for the U.S. assassination of Lieutenant General Soleimani.
“We have taken part of the harsh revenge (against the U.S.), and the other part still remains. Everybody is definitely aware of it. U.S. officials must bear in mind that it is impossible to take an act of aggression against a nation, and then evade the revenge,” he warned.
Lieutenant General Soleimani, Iran’s world-renowned counterterrorism commander, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and their companions were killed in a U.S. drone strike authorized by former president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.
Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the U.S. in the country.
Both commanders were highly revered across the West Asia because of their key role in fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.
On January 8, 2020, the IRGC targeted the U.S.-run Ain al-Asad in Iraq’s western province of Anbar by launching a volley of missiles in retaliation.
According to the Pentagon, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike on the base.
Iran has described the missile attack on Ain al-Assad as a “first slap”.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Major General Salami asserted that Iran’s enemies have been defeated.
“Depression and despair can now be seen on the faces of officials from our enemies since they cannot advance their policies,” he noted.
“If we had not resisted, they (enemies) would have taken away our identity, prestige, honor, security, and dignity. The United States, the Zionist regime, some European countries, and reactionary regimes in the region cannot stand the Iranian nation’s stability, splendor, and strength,” the IRGC chief added.
Dushanbe-Tehran annual trade target at €500m: Tajik envoy
Tajikistan and Iran seek to boost their bilateral trade to €500 million, said Tajikistan’s Ambassador to Tehran Nizomiddin Zohidi, adding the growth of trade between the two countries indicates the materialization of goals set in the recent visit of Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi to Dushanbe.
Speaking in a conference to celebrate the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Iran and Tajikistan in Tehran on Monday, the Tajik envoy said the trade between Iran and his country has witnessed an increase of threefold during recent three months compared to corresponding figure of preceding year.
The conference was also attended by Sarvar Bakhti, the head of the Cultural Institute of the Economic Cooperation Organization, Khusrav Noziri, the ECO secretary general, as well as some former ambassadors of Iran to Dushanbe and some senior researchers who delivered speeches.
The Tajik ambassador said: “Iran was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Tajikistan, and on January 9, 1992, diplomatic relations between the two countries began.»
Referring to the joining of Iran to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the official noted that Dushanbe supported Iran’s membership at the organization.
“Tajikistan believes that Iran’s full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be beneficial for all member states,” Zohidi noted.
The ambassador thanked the officials and representatives of the two countries in the Iran-Tajikistan Joint Commission, noting that the role of this commission was effective in establishing cultural and trade relations between Iran and Tajikistan as 14 meeting were held in Tehran and Dushanbe since its establishment.
Zahedi also announced the holding of Tajikistan Cultural Days in Tehran and said: “We plan to hold ceremonies in Tehran next [Iranian] year.”
He noted that diplomatic relations between the two countries have included the signing of 160 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to date.
The construction of the Istiqlol Tunnel and Sangtuda-2 hydropower plant in Tajikistan are examples of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, Zohidi said.
Speaking in the conference, ECO Secretary General Noziri said Iran and Tajikistan have played important role in implementation of the ECO Trade Agreement and increasing regional trade.
“Although the diplomatic relationship between Iran and Tajikistan is 30 years old, the common culture, language and heritage of Tajiks and Iranians go back to the depths of history, which paves the ground for fruitful cooperation in various fields,” he noted.
The ECO attaches great importance to Iran and Tajikistan as members of the organization, Noziri said adding that the prominent role of the two countries in the ECO is to increase regional cooperation in all areas including trade and communications, transportation, agriculture and industry, energy, mining, environment, tourism and sustainable development.
“I am confident that the support of these two countries will continue within the framework of the ECO in order to ensure the interests of the member states of the organization and economic stability among member countries,” he noted.
Better ties with Persian Gulf states, ‘without any exceptions’: Iran FM
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Monday that Iran seeks good ties will all regional nations, including Persian Gulf littoral states, “without any exceptions”.
“There are no limits and exceptions for establishing good relations with the countries of the region,” Amir-Abdollahian said of Iran’s approach to cooperation with Persian Gulf Arab states as he met with Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said during an official visit to Muscat.
He said Iran prioritizes cooperation with regional countries in its foreign policy, adding that there are plenty of opportunities for Tehran and Muscat to work together in various political, economic and cultural spheres.
“Iran stands ready to cooperate over freight and passenger transport, energy, tourism and airlines,” the top diplomat said.
Amir-Abdollahian further touched upon the Saudi-led war on Yemen, saying Iran believe the crisis can only be resolved politically and through dialogue.
The Omani official highlighted “close and fraternal relations” between the two nations, and called for greater cooperation.
He said Oman is interested in playing a role in bringing regional countries closer together.
Iran’s top diplomat also met his Omani counterpart Sayyid Badr Albusaidi.
Amir-Abdollahian arrived in the Omani capital Muscat on Monday for a one-day visit.
“Good neighborliness and expansion of interactions with neighboring countries are at the top of the foreign policy agenda of the current Iranian government,” he told reporters upon arrival at Muscat International Airport.
“We hope that the promotion of relations with our northern neighbors in recent months would help strengthen ties with Persian Gulf neighbors and further expand cooperation among neighboring countries,” the top diplomat added, according to Press TV
He pointed to the quadripartite transit agreement between Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, expressing hope that the accord would soon come into force between the contracting states.
Earlier this month, Amir-Abdollahian and his Omani counterpart stressed the importance of enhancing bilateral cooperation on the international level.
The top Iranian and Omani diplomats also urged the continuation of consultations on different mutual and international issues.
The top Iranian diplomat is set to hold talks with top Omani officials on ways to enhance the political, economic, and cultural relations between the two countries as well as major regional issues.
Iran says seeking ‘lasting, reliable deal’ in Vienna talks
Iran said on Monday that it wants a “lasting and reliable” agreement in the ongoing negotiations in the Austrian capital city of Vienna to restore the 2015 deal to its original form.
“What is currently taking place in Vienna is indicative of efforts made by all parties in order to reach a sustainable deal … In Vienna, the focus is on four issues: Sanctions removal, guarantees, verification, and nuclear matters,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at a weekly press briefing in Tehran.
Khatibzadeh said the talks have reached a point that would determine whether the other side is serious or not, Press TV reported.
While noting the “good progress” made in all of the aforementioned issues, Khatibzadeh stressed that Iran alone cannot maintain the pace of the negotiations; the other side should speed up its efforts as well.
“It is not acceptable that the other side would move at the speed of a turtle, while we move at the speed of light,” Khatibzadeh stated.
The official underlined that Tehran is looking for “a durable and reliable deal” out of the talks, and no accord that falls short of such criteria is on the agenda of Iran’s negotiators.
Iran and the P4+1 group of countries – Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China – resumed talks in Vienna on January 3 after the parties took a three-day break for the New Year. The US is not allowed to directly attend the talks due to its pullout in 2018 from the deal with Iran.
The eighth round of the Vienna talks began on December 27 with a focus on the removal of all sanctions that the United States imposed on Iran following its unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) three years after the deal was inked.
During the previous round, the first under Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi, Iran presented new proposals at the negotiating table and later criticized the European parties for failing to do the same.
‘Neither optimistic nor pessimistic’
In his Monday press briefing, Khatibzadeh said that Iran remains neither optimistic nor pessimistic regarding the prospects of the talks.
“We negotiate realistically and report to people realistically,” he said, in a veiled reference to the constant change of tone on the part of the United States and its European allies regarding the talks.
He said while the opposite side previously sought to extract concessions through a media misinformation campaign, it has now realized that such an approach is futile and is now focusing on the Vienna talks.
“We must all work to ensure that the United States’ return to the JCPOA is accompanied by the necessary guarantees and verification,” Khatibzadeh said. “The removal of sanctions should also be carried out effectively in accordance with the JCPOA. Such issues cannot materialize through an interim agreement.”
The Foreign Ministry spokesman noted that the ongoing Vienna talks are merely aimed at bringing Washington to full and verifiable implementation of its obligations under the 2015 agreement.
“We have never demanded anything beyond the JCPOA during our negotiations in Vienna, and will never accept such matters to be raised and discussed,” he said.
Khatibzadeh also noted that Iran and the United States have expressed their viewpoints on the removal of sanctions in a verifiable manner and on firm assurances that no future US administration would be able to make a mockery of the deal and international regulations by withdrawing from it again.
Sialk Hill, oldest residential site in Iranian Plateau
Please explain briefly about the historical significance of the ancient site of Sialk Hill.
Sialk is one of the oldest settlements in the Central Plateau of Iran, in which were found artifacts dating back to 8,000 years ago. If we believe that civilization is urbanization, or some kind of social system, we can certainly say that Sialk is one of the oldest centers of human civilization, which was larger than a village and considered a city.
Sialk is one of the oldest places of residence in the world, in which there were writings and administrative systems, whose remains are now available. This area is also one of the oldest places in the world where metalworking was done very professionally, thus Sialk can be listed among the oldest centers of human civilization.
Tell us about the archeological excavations that have so far been carried out on the Sialk archeological site.
The first excavation season, led by Grishman, was carried out in the area from 1934 to 1939.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, a group led by Sadeq Malek Shahmirzadi continued to dig up the site from 2001 to 2006 in a project called Sialk Review.
Moreover, a team from Durham University of England, led by Hassan Fazeli Nashli and British archaeologist Robin Coningham, conducted excavations in the northern part of Sialk Hills, from 2008 to 2009. During the last excavation season, carried out in the area in 2015, a group from Kashan University conducted extensive studies in the region to determine the boundaries of the ancient site.
Please explain the review plan devised for Sialk site, and is there any program to resume excavation projects in the area?
The review plan, led by Malek Shahmirzadi, was drawn up to update the information obtained during the first excavation season carried out by Grishman’s group, answer some questions, and address the shortcomings left over from previous digging seasons.
The first phase of the review plan, done in cooperation with a number of foreign groups, lasted for five years. Its results were published in the form of six books, two doctoral dissertations, and several dozen articles. But since then, the conditions have not been prepared for the implementation of the second phase of the plan.
According to negotiations held with the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research, the National Museum of Iran and the archaeological departments of Kashan and Tehran universities, research and excavations will be resumed on the site as of March or April 2022.
Please explain the national and world registration of Sialk archeological site.
Sialk Hill was registered on Iran’s National Heritage List on Sept. 16, 1931. The site has been included on the UNESCO Tentative List since 1997, but no measure has so far been undertaken for the registration of Sialk Hill on UNESCO’ List of World Heritage Sites.
Why has no action been taken for the world registration of Sialk site, which is of such great historical significance?
One obstacle preventing the global registration of the site is unauthorized construction of some buildings in the vicinity of the historical site. We have managed to stop development of such projects and destroy at least 20 buildings constructed in the area during the past two or three years. The objective has been achieved in cooperation with Kashan’s Judiciary Department, the Prosecutor’s Office and the
What measures are currently being taken by Kashan’s Cultural Heritage Department for global registration of this site?
We launched a new partnership with the Polish University of Warsaw and the Institute for Mediterranean Studies. In the first place, we intend to identify the prerequisites required for global registration of the site. Devising a management plan is among the needs identified and placed on the department’s agenda. Basic information has also been collected in this respect.
The next step is to register the records and history of the excavations carried out on the site. The necessary reports have been prepared on the issue and they are presently being translated into English.
On the other hand, not only was a map drawn for the site, but its boundaries were determined in 2020. The necessary legal measures were taken in this regard as well.
Finally, another task that needs to be done is to clarify the importance of the site and the impact of its global registration on local development. A Japanese professional has been invited to cooperate with us in this respect.
On the other hand, we have taken the dossiers of foreign archeological sites, which were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in the last few years, from the UNESCO website. We are reviewing them to see what the requirements and prerequisites for preparing such dossiers are.
What measures have been taken to organize the historical complex and prepare facilities for tourists visiting Sialk Hill?
An exhibition of historical artifacts and an audio-visual hall were established on the site. Some spaces were allocated to the archeological experts and personnel of the heritage conservation body, in cooperation with Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ministry’s Office for National and International Sites.
Also, standard showcases have been prepared, with the support of the National Museum of Iran, to display the artifacts found on the site.
We also prepared suitable facilities to provide services and archaeological information to tourists.
Fortunately, with the development of vaccines and the reduction in the incidences of COVID-19 disease in the country, better conditions have been provided for people to visit Iran’s historical and tourism
We have also prepared a number of brochures and booklets to acquaint people with the history and significance of the Sialk
In addition, the guides explain the artifacts found on the site to visitors. A number of television documentaries have also been produced in this regard. All collected information is available in different languages including Persian, English and French.
What are your plans for the future?
We are planning to establish a site museum in the area and display the historical objects found on the ancient site.
People can visit the residences of people who lived several thousand years ago, in its original place, with the same walls, tools and equipment.
It is obvious that modern and suitable protective equipment must be provided on the site. Creating a museum site itself is of great significance because most tourists arriving in Kashan are interested in visiting the ancient site of Sialk.
Due to the lack of facilities to store and display the artifacts on the site, many objects were transferred to museums and other places, therefore, the establishment of a museum site is very important.
About eight thousand years ago, farms and meadows were created through changes in the climate. This caused people living in caves to make significant progress and turn to the plains to begin a new life.
A group settled in a place called Sialk, located in the vicinity of today’s city of Kashan, in the central province of Isfahan.
Sialk Hill (Tappeh Sialk) is one of the important archeological sites of the Iranian Plateau, located in Kashan’s Fin district.
Made of clay, the hill is in fact the ruins of the world’s oldest ziggurat (a place of worship), used by ancient Iranian people. The historical complex, not identified until 1931, was referred to as a cursed city by local people.
However, following the transfer of some artifacts found in the site to the Louvre Museum in France, experts realized their antiquity. Roman Grishman, a French archeologist, travelled to Iran, and with the cooperation of André Godard, the architect and founder of the National Museum of Iran, continued to explore the site.
Sialk contains two northern and southern hills. The oldest objects found in the northern hill date back to 7,500 years ago, while the last objects found in the southern hill are 5,000 years old.
Several human skeletons and ancient vessels unearthed in Sialk are kept in the Louvre Museum, the National Museum of Iran, the Museum of Fin Garden, and a museum located next to the ancient hill. Several thousand-year-old pottery fragments are scattered on the ground and around the hills.
The discovery of spinning and weaving spindles in the ancient complex indicates that the people were familiar with the industry thousands of years before Christ. The inhabitants of the region also melted metals to make tools. With the discovery of a metal smelting furnace in the southern part of the hill, Sialk can be considered as one of the most industrial cities of that time.
Regarding the importance of Sialk Hill in ancient times and the artifacts found in this area, Iran Daily conducted an exclusive interview with “Mehran Sarmadian,” the head of Kashan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department, about the history of the site, its current condition and future plans.
Iran’s Hassanzadeh, Malmoli among nominees for Futsalplanet Awards
Iran’s Ali-Asghar Hassanzadeh was nominated for the Best Men’s Player in the World at the Futsalplanet Awards 2021.
Nominated alongside Iranian captain are Brazilian trio Ferrão – winner of the prize for the past two years – Pito, and Rodrigo, as well as Pany Varela and Erick Mendonça from Portugal, Argentinian Cristián Borruto, Esteban Guerrero of Spain, Serbia’s Jovan Lazarevic, and Italian Alex Merlim.
Soheila Malmoli, who won Iranian Women’s Futsal Pro League trophy with Palayesh Naft Abadan last season, is among nominees for the Best Women’s Player in the World.
Hassanzadeh – a four-time Asian Player of the Year – was part of the team that reached the last-eight round of September’s Futsal World Cup, where it suffered a 3-2 defeat against Kazakhstan.
Iranian manager Mohammad Nazemasharieh, who led the country to a runner-up finish in the group before a 9-8 victory over Uzbekistan in the round of 16 in Lithuania, was shortlisted for the Dimitri Nicolaou Award – granted to the Best Men’s National Team Coach – while Iran received a nomination for Best Men’s National Team.
The Asian powerhouse, however, will face tough competition for the prize as the World Cup winner Portugal and runner-up Argentina will be the favorites to take home the prestigious award, with Bosnia & Herzegovina, Japan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Slovakia, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela also on the list.
Alireza Samimi who delivered some heroic performances in the World Cup was picked in the 10-man shortlist for the Best Men’s Goalkeeper in the World.
Kazakhstani keeper Leo Higuita is tipped to walk away with the award for a record-extending sixth time.
There were further nominations for Iran in the women’s categories as Palayesh Naft Abadan and its head coach Narges Alvani received recognition in the Best Women’s Club and Best Women’s Club Coach shortlists, while Farzaneh Tavassoli was nominated for the Best Women’s Goalkeeper in the World prize.
Iranian female official Gelareh Nazemi, who was the timekeeper at the World Cup final showpiece between Portugal and Argentina, was shortlisted for the Best Referee category.
Mes Sungun Varzaqan, which has dominated the Iranian club futsal for the past four seasons, was named in the 10-team list nominated for the Best Men’s Club in the World, with head coach Ahmad Baghbanbashi picked for Best Men’s Club Coach.
Mes prodigy Salar Aqapour brought a second nomination for the club, being selected in the Best Men’s Young Player category.
Iranian actress Leila Hatami to head jury at French festival
Well-known Iranian actress Leila Hatami has been selected as the head of the jury panel at the 28th edition of the Vesoul International Film
Festival of Asian Cinemas in France.
Palestinian screenwriter Soha Aref, Filipino director Zig Dulay, and Kazakh director Yerlan Nurmukhambetov are other members of the jury panel, ifilmtv.tv reported.
The Golden Rickshaw, Grand Jury Prize, and Special Mention are the three awards bestowed to winners by the jury panel.
The Filipino film and TV director Dulay, who has been invited to be part of the international jury of the prestigious international film festival, told Inquirer Entertainment on Wednesday, “I’m excited to be able to work with Leila Hatami, the Iranian actress”.
Hatami is the daughter of prominent Iranian director Ali Hatami and has appeared in a number of her father’s films, even as a child actress, including ‘Hezar Dastan’ (1987), ‘Kamal-ol-Molk’ (1984), and ‘The Devoted’ (1992).
Her first appearance in a leading role was in the film ‘Leila’ (1997).
In 2014, Hatami was also a member of the jury panel of Cannes Film Festival in France.
Established in 1995, the goal of the Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinemas is to promote the films of Asian territories.
The 2022 edition of the French festival is scheduled for February 1-8, and a list of the competing films will be announced soon.
Russian, U.S. negotiators face off in Geneva over Ukraine
After days of pessimistic statements on both sides, Russia and the United States began tough negotiations in Geneva on Monday over Ukraine.
The talks between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Wendy Sherman began at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Geneva with Russia-U.S. relations at their most tense since the Cold War ended three decades ago.
The pair made only brief eye contact when they posed for photographs beforehand, Reuters reported.
“The talks promise to be long and substantial,” the Russian diplomatic mission in Geneva tweeted, with a picture of the two lead negotiators standing in front of their national flags.
Sherman said “the U.S. will listen to Russia’s concerns and share our own” in an earlier tweet from Geneva, adding that no discussions on European security would be held without the presence of other allies. Discussions will move to meetings in Brussels and Vienna later this week.
Nearly 100,000 Russian troops are gathered within reach of the border with Ukraine in what Washington and Kiev say could be an invasion.
Russia denies invasion plans and said it is responding to what it calls aggressive behavior from the NATO military alliance and Ukraine, which has tilted toward the West and aspires to join NATO.
Last month, Russia presented sweeping demands including a ban on further NATO expansion and an end to the alliance’s activity in central and eastern European countries that joined it after 1997.
The United States and NATO say large parts of the Russian proposals are non-starters.
Ryabkov told RIA that Russia would not accept U.S. attempts to limit the agenda to discussion of military exercises and missile deployments – the topics outlined by the Biden administration as areas it is willing to broach.
Biggest US philanthropic foundations linked to both government and corporate world
Mikhak, first but not last step for return of Iranian expats
By Ebrahim Beheshti*
The launch of a website for Integrated Management of Consular Services (MIKHAK) appears to be indicating the government’s seriousness in dealing with the affairs of Iranian expatriates and laying the ground for them to return home.
Three days after the June 18 presidential election, the president-elect held his first press conference in Tehran, but no reporters asked him about the new government’s approach to Iranian expatriates.
However, the issue was so crucial that President-elect Raeisi concluded the event by addressing it when he said: “We will prepare all the grounds needed for the return of Iranian expatriates.”
According to a report by the Office of Vice‑Presidency for Science and Technology, about 1.9 million Iranians lived abroad in 2020. A year earlier, the Secretariat of the High Council of Iranian Affairs Abroad (HCIAA) had announced that there were more than four million Iranians abroad.
The return of our compatriots to their homeland has been a mutual concern over the past few decades. On the one hand, governments signaled a desire for the expatriates’ return in order to use their financial, cultural and scientific capacities. On the other hand, Iranians living abroad yearned for a return to their motherland. However, political and legal issues have always prevented such a mutual demand from being fulfilled.
Vahid Jalalzadeh, chairman of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, has recently highlighted the need for opening a window, unanimously supported by the Establishment, to handle the issue of Iranian expatriates. Now it seems that, after several attempts in the past, such a window is gradually emerging.
From the president and the Judiciary chief to the Foreign Ministry and Parliament, all are pressing for a solution to the existing problems in order to ease the return of our fellow countrymen to Iran.
A few days ago, President Raeisi stressed that “no one is banned from entering the country, and that all Iranians can come and go”.
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said that before he embarked on a trip to New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly meeting in September, the Judiciary chief advised him on the phone to assure Iranians in the US that they should have no worries about returning to Iran.
On January 1, the HCIAA held its first meeting under the Raeisi government at the Foreign Ministry, with the president in attendance, following an eight-year hiatus. The aim was to provide the necessary coordination to facilitate the return and travel of Iranian expatriates to the country and to explore how Iran can benefit from their investments.
The ministers of the interior, justice, economy, health and labor also attended the meeting.
The foreign minister has said that investment rules, as well as the services and facilities that Iranian expatriates can receive are being reviewed.
The launch of MIKHAK accessible at https://mikhak.mfa.gov.ir is the latest measure taken to give services to Iranians living abroad.
According to Amir-Abdollahian, all Iranian expats can enter their details and information on the MIKHAK website and enter their questions. He has asserted that the Foreign Ministry will answer their questions after inquiring from the Judiciary and other competent security organizations.
On MIKHAK’s homepage, visitors will find a brief description of the goals of the website.
“This website provides consular services to compatriots in various fields, including affairs related to passports and birth certificates, consular and judicial support affairs, power of attorney, document approval…,” part of the description reads.
Over the past years, what mainly hindered the process of facilitating the return of Iranian expats was certain misunderstandings and mutual mistrust. There have also been other factors such as the lack of comprehensive rules for compatriots abroad, economic instability, propaganda campaigns aimed at stoking Iranophobia, and disregard for the role of Iranian elites that made it even harder to begin the process.
In order to make new policies in this regard, some repulsive approaches of the past seem to be changing.
On September 15, the intelligence minister stressed the need for a change in the approach and behavior of Iran’s embassies and consulates with the Iranian community abroad.
*Ebrahim Beheshti is a guest contributor to Iran Daily.