Iran is not willing to accept its nationals being forcibly deported from Australia but will welcome back citizens of their own free will, a top official warns.
The remarks by deputy foreign minister Hassan Ghashgavi came as Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visited Tehran but failed to make a breakthrough on a long-running immigration dispute.
Ghashgavi, whose brief covers consular affairs, signals the two countries are widely at odds and even launches a thinly veiled dig at foreign states that send people back to their place of origin.
“Any forced deportation is contrary to human rights, but we believe that the voluntary return of every Iranian to his country is not a problem,” the ISNA news agency quotes him as saying.
“All immigration countries make a selection. They welcome those they consider useful to their society… and reject others to be forcibly deported.”