Iranian refugee in Turkey rejected for resettlement in third country due to intelligence background
Fevzi Kızılkoyun – ANKARAAmin Askari, an Iranian mullah who has been formally recognized as a refugee by the U.N.’s refugee agency and is in Turkey awaiting resettlement, has been rejected for admission to a third country due to the fact that he previously worked for the Iranian intelligence services.
According to his file at the United Nations, Askari had worked in Iranian intelligence schools but was subsequently arrested in Iran in 2007 for opposing the Tehran government. After spending six months in jail he fled to Syria in 2009, but when the civil war broke out there he crossed into Turkey via illegal means in 2011.
He then applied to the UNHCR to be considered as a “political refugee.” The U.N. refugee agency accepted his application and Askari is currently waiting to be resettled in a third country. He says Tehran has been employing agents to monitor him, which is why he has been traveling around Turkey, working as a shepherd in a bid to erase his traces.
However, as Askari has been awaiting resettlement in the U.S., Canada, Australia or an EU country, none of them have accepted him, citing his previous work for the Iranian intelligence service and saying it posed a threat as he would continue to be tracked once he arrived.
Even if the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) assesses that a refugee is eligible for resettlement it does not mean that they will be guaranteed resettlement to another country, as resettlement always takes place under the latter’s initiative.