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

A funeral for four Afghan refugees who were killed in Syria was held in the Iranian city of Mashhad on May 15.
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 -- from the "The Wall Street Journal" last week -- is "completely unfounded and is aimed at damaging Iran's reputation in Afghanistan."

She added that the report was 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 and RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan