Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Government of Indonesia is ready to evacuate Indonesian citizens from Iran following a spike in tensions since the assassination of top Iranian military officer, Qassem Soleimani, in US attacks.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi stated at the Presidential Palace here on Thursday that the Indonesian government was prepared to evacuate Indonesian citizens in Iran, and all preparations to that end were currently underway.

"We are ready, so everything is completed. Everything will certainly depend on the local situation. Hopefully, the situation would not further worsen than what it is now," she remarked.

The minister admitted to having maintained steady communication with all parties involved.

The government has made requisite preparations as a precautionary measure against any direct impact on Indonesian citizens and continued to communicate with the heads of representatives of the Republic of Indonesia in countries in the Gulf region, including Iran, Iraq, and others, potentially affected if the escalation persists.

"The contingency plan has been completed, and all backups are already prepared. The hotline numbers are mentioned on the release of the Foreign Ministry. Hence, we also make an appeal to Indonesian citizens that if at any point in time they need assistance, they should not hesitate to contact the hotline numbers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," she emphasized.

The government has also activated the crisis center as a precautionary measure since over 400 Indonesian citizens are currently in Iran.

However, the minister has estimated that the number of Indonesians in Iran could cross 400, while there are some 800 Indonesians in Iraq.

The minister confirmed to having held a coordination meeting with the heads of representatives related to the region, including the Indonesian ambassadors to Iraq, Iran, and the United States. The meeting was held to finalize contingency plans and to map out the position of Indonesian citizens in countries where political and security escalation continues unabated.

Marsudi is optimistic that further escalation would not occur despite the government having prepared contingency plans for Indonesian citizens there.
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Translator: Hanni Sofia, Fardah
Editor: Suharto
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