Thursday, December 7, 2023

Iran rejects reports it plans to house Afghan asylum-seekers expelled from Pakistan

An Iranian official has denied reports that a UN authority had announced Afghan asylum-seekers expelled from Pakistan would be housed in Iran.

“After contacting Yumiko Takashima Ishikawa, the UN refugee agency envoy for Iran, she denied the news, highlighting the UN high commissioner for refugees’ abidance by policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, saying cooperation with the Iranian government is a priority,” said Ashkan Pirzadeh, a deputy of Hassan Kazemi Qomi, the Iranian president’s special representative for Afghan affairs.

The denial came after the UN official was quoted as saying that the world body would try to settle Afghan refugees in Iran.

Pakistan has started the mass deportation of undocumented Afghan refugees, prompting refugee influxes to the border areas.

Iran is already hosting around 5 million Afghan refugees that fled their home after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021.

Opposition is growing, particularly among ordinary Iranians, over the increasing presence of Afghan refugees in Iran mainly due to the security concerns.

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