Sanctions on Iran have negative impact on Afghanistan

A policeman prevents journalists from walking near the site of a suicide attack on prison employees' vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 31, 2018. (AP)
Updated 06 November 2018
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Sanctions on Iran have negative impact on Afghanistan

  • Tehran has eased the visa restrictions too in order to persuade Afghans wishing to go there, according to residents

KABUL: For years just after dawn, both during harsh winter days or hot summer times — men, women and children routinely used to jostle to join the long queue outside Iran’s embassy in Kabul to get a visa for traveling to the country.
The increased rush prompted Tehran to put in place certain restrictions for Afghan travelers such as financial guarantees and return flight tickets.
It would take at least one week for the luckiest ones to get their visa approved and there were hundreds of other Afghans who daily sneaked into neighboring country through illegal and hazardous ways overland.
They escaped to Iran either because of war or poverty back home, for a family reunion or used its territory as transit for making it to Turkey and beyond to Europe.
But since the slapping of US financial and economic sanctions on Iran in August, the numbers of Afghans wishing to travel to Iran has drastically dropped down.
Tehran has eased the visa restrictions too in order to persuade Afghans wishing to go there, according to residents. Afghans who used to go to Iran, legally or illegally for labor jobs, are returning in big numbers and as do some of the Afghan refugees to lived there for decades because of the colossal devaluation of Iran’s currency against dollar or foreign money.
Afghanistan’s economy has also been suffering as a result of crippling US sanctions on Iran since Tehran has been the major trade partner of Afghanistan which imports nearly $2 billion of goods and fuel annually, according to traders.
The effects of the sanctions are hugely felt in Afghanistan’s western region, particularly, Herat, they said.
“Unfortunately, the sanctions have had a direct impact in the western region in terms of imports, exports and transit,” Saad Khatebi, the chief of the Chambers of Commerce of Herat told Arab News.


Libya planning to extradite Manchester bomber’s brother

Britain last year submitted a request to extradite Hashem Abedi. (Ahmed Bin Salman, Special Deterrent Force via AP)
Updated 15 November 2018
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Libya planning to extradite Manchester bomber’s brother

  • Abedi's brother, Salman, detonated the bomb, killing himself, outside one of the arena exits shortly after the end of a concert by pre-teen idol Ariana Grande

Libya is planning to extradite the brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi to Britain by the end of the year, Libya’s UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj told the BBC in an interview.

Britain last year submitted a request to extradite Hashem Abedi after the bombing in May 2017 in which 22 people — many of them minors — were killed.

Abedi detonated the bomb, killing himself, outside one of the arena exits shortly after the end of a concert by pre-teen idol Ariana Grande.

Hashem Abedi is suspected of involvement and is wanted by Manchester police on charges of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.

In an interview with the BBC on the sidelines of an international conference in Italy, Al-Sarraj said: “I think from here to the end of this year we will finish all the legal procedures in Libya.

“We are fully cooperating because we understand the suffering of the families of the victims of this terrorist attack.

“According to the general prosecutor we can extradite. After we complete the legal process in Libya it is only a matter of time.”

When Britain first made the extradition request in November 2017, the armed group holding him refused it.

The Manchester Arena bombing was Britain’s worst terror attack in more than a decade.

Salman Abedi was born in Manchester in 1994, to parents who had been granted asylum after fleeing Muammer Qaddafi’s regime.

He was in Libya just days before the attack.