Abna – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomed and appreciated the Iranian government’s move to give nationality to thousands of children born to Iranian mothers and non-Iranian fathers. The first children, out of some 10,000 children whose citizenship applications have so far been accepted, received their Iranian identity document last month, the UNHCR said.
It added that according to the Government of Iran, nearly 75,000 children at risk of becoming statelessness are eligible for Iranian citizenship under a new nationality law, which was amended in 2019 to allow children under 18 years to apply for the identity documents. “Although Iran is not party to the UN Conventions on Statelessness, the Government of Iran is taking steps towards the prevention and reduction of statelessness in the country,” the UNHCR said.
Also, Ivo Freijsen, the UNHCR Representative in Iran, welcomed the Iranian government’s move, describing it as a step forward to the benefit of stateless people in Iran and the world.
Last month, Iran’s government spokesman had declared that the first Iranian identity card was recently issued for a child born to an Iranian mother and a foreign father. “After years of efforts and ups and downs, finally the first child born to an Iranian mother managed to obtain the Iranian residency through the mother,” Ali Rabiei said in a weekly press briefing.
“We congratulate all Iranian mothers, either those with a non-Iranian spouse or others, as this is a kind of social protection for the community of women,” he noted. The spokesman also noted that the move indicates the government’s serious resolve to protecting citizens’ rights for Iranian women.
In October 2019, Iran’s Guardian Council ratified a bill proposed by the government of President Hassan Rouhani to amend the law on passing citizenship to the children born to an Iranian mother and a foreign father regardless of where they are born.
According to article one of the law, children of Iranian mothers and non-Iranian fathers who were born before or after the law can obtain the Iranian citizenship upon the mother’s request, provided that they have no security problem before the age of 18.
These children, after reaching the age of 18, can apply for the Iranian citizenship themselves, if not requested by the mother, and will then be granted the Iranian citizenship in case of no security problem.