Afghanistan Calls on Iran to Stop Harassment of Afghan Refugees

Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met with Iranian Ambassador to Kabul Bahador Aminian on Monday and expressed concern over ill-treatment of Afghan refugees in Iran, lamenting such behavior could damage Kabul-Tehran relations.

Spokesperson of the Ministry Abdul Qahar Balkhi in a series of tweets said that Muttaqi asked Aminian to convey his deep concerns over the ill-treatment of Afghan refugees to Iran’s leaders.

“Muttaqi stressed that the message should be delivered to the leadership in Iran to instruct some malicious circles in a planned agenda to launch negative propaganda to create spite between the two friendly and neighboring countries,” reads a tweet post.

During the meeting, Aminian called Afghan refugees Iran’s guests, and said over the last 43 years, the Iranians had amicably interacted with them.

Aminian said that the government of Iran has no intention of mistreating Afghan refugees but always seeks to bring closer and build trust between two countries.

Aminian also said to deliver Afghanistan’s concern on the refugee’s situation to the Iranian leaders.

This comes as mainstream media is full of pictures and videos of the Iranian people and security forces that are mistreating and insulting Afghan refugees.

On 10 April, the Iranian embassy in Kabul in a statement said that videos of Iranian police using excessive force against Afghan refugees on social media were aimed at destabilizing Afghanistan-Iran relations.

According to the statement, Iran has hosted about five million Afghan refugees for the past 40 years but said it does not allow “illegal immigrants to enter its territory.” 

There are around five million Afghans living in Iran, with many of them lacking legal documents. Some 34,398 Afghans, who arrived in Iran from 1 January 2021 to 23 March 2022 have approached UNHCR requesting assistance and protection, the refugee agency said.

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