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Iran Denies Report It's Recruiting Afghans To Fight In Syria

A funeral for Afghans refugees killed in Syria.
A funeral for Afghans refugees killed in Syria.
Iran's government has denied a report it is recruiting Afghan refugees living in Iran to fight in Syria.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said the report -- made by "The Wall Street Journal" last week -- is "completely unfounded and is aimed at damaging Iran's reputation in Afghanistan."

She added that the report is insulting to the people of Afghanistan and that the U.S. daily should apologize to them.

Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces are battling opposition forces.

"The Wall Street Journal" said elite forces of Iran's Revolutionary Guards were offering residency in Iran and monthly payments of $500 to Afghan refugees who agreed to go to Syria to fight.

Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry said on May 18 that its embassy in Tehran was told to investigate the claims.
Based on reporting by AFP, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan