Iran Closes Diplomatic Mission in Afghanistan After Protesters Throw Rocks at Consulate

Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Afghanistan’s charge d’affaires in Tehran and also halted its diplomatic mission in Afghanistan after angry Afghan protestors attacked the Iranian embassy in Kabul and its consulate in the eastern Herat province over alleged ill-treatment of refugees.

The protests came after videos posted on social media in recent days in which young Afghan refugees in Iran were harassed and humiliated by ordinary Iranians. After that several other videos went viral purporting to show Afghan refugees being mistreated by Iranian police, border guards and ordinary people.

Dozens of Afghans took the streets in Kabul and Herat province on Monday and Tuesday respectively, giving vent to their anger over mistreatment of Afghan refugees in Iran. The demonstrators gathered outside the Iranian consulate in Herat and threw rocks at the consulate and also chanted “Death to Iran”.    

Similar anti-Iran protests took place outside the Iranian embassy in Kabul, in which the protesters demanded a complete halt to the abusive behavior of Iranian officials toward Afghans.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh said that Taliban officials were informed on April 12 that Iranian consulate offices will remain closed and all operations will be halted until further notice.

“Unfortunately, some clips and comments are being published with the aim of creating a phobia of Iran or Afghanistan,” Khatibzadeh told reporters, and strongly rejected mistreatment of Afghan refugees in Iran.

Referring to the deep historical relations between the Iranian and Afghan nations, Khatibzadeh warned against the plans of “conspirators and ill-wishers” between the two countries, asking the officials in Kabul and Tehran to remain vigilant at the moment.

Khatibzadeh also demanded legal action against Afghan protesters were involved in the attack.

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