TEHRAN: Iran has passed a law allowing the government to grant citizenship to the families of foreigners killed while fighting for the Islamic republic, the official IRNA news agency reported Monday.

The law could apply to “volunteers” from Afghanistan and Pakistan who are fighting in Syria and Iraq against militants, including the militant Islamic State (IS) group and Al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, Al-Nusra Front.

“Members of the parliament authorised the government to grant Iranian citizenship to the wife, children and parents of foreign martyrs who died on a mission... during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) and afterwards,” it said.

Citizenship must be awarded “within a maximum period of one year after the request”, IRNA added.

Iranian media regularly reports on the death of Pakistani and Afghan volunteers in Syria and Iraq, with their bodies are buried in Iran. More than three million Afghans live in Iran, one million as legal migrants however no figures are available on the number of foreign fighters killed during the Iran-Iraq war.

Iran is a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and provides financial and military support to his regime. Iran's outgoing parliament will serve until late May.

Tehran says its Fatemiyoun Brigade, comprised of Afghan recruits, are volunteers defending sacred Shia sites in Syria and Iraq against militants of IS.

The Islamic republic denies having any boots on the ground and insists its commanders and generals act as “military advisers” in Syria and Iraq.

Opinion

No Eid for Sachal
16 May 2021

No Eid for Sachal

All this pain has been inflicted on man by man. When reason fails, this is what man resorts to. Naked barbarity.
US exit: security implications
16 May 2021

US exit: security implications

All indications are that transnational terrorist groups are gearing up to increase their operations in the region.

Editorial

16 May 2021

Riyadh-Tehran thaw

SEVERAL official pronouncements over the last few days have confirmed that efforts are underway behind the scenes to...
16 May 2021

Ruthless evictions

FOR a state to deprive residents of their homes without providing for alternative housing for them is a dereliction...
16 May 2021

Wheat concerns

THE new official projections for provisional wheat output suggest that Punjab may harvest around 20.5m tonnes of...
Eid during Covid
Updated 13 May 2021

Eid during Covid

It is indisputable that our actions now will prevent matters from becoming far worse.
Updated 14 May 2021

Foreign policy gaffes

MIXED messages, retractions and clarifications from the government have become an all-too-common occurrence when it...
Zimbabwe series win
Updated 15 May 2021

Zimbabwe series win

For millions of Pakistani fans, it was a thrilling experience to see their team returning to its winning ways.