The Islamic Republic has summoned the Afghan envoy in Tehran after citizen-led protests over its ill-treatment of Afghan migrants and refugees.
Earlier on Tuesday the Iranian embassy in Kabul and consulate in Herat were temporarily closed after demonstrators in Herat pelted the building with rocks and set fire to the gates. A video from AP also showed protesters chanting “Death to Iran” while police tried to disperse them by shooting into the air.
The demonstrations were sparked by recent, disturbing fresh accounts of cruelty to Afghans fleeing their country via Iran. Undated videos newly posted on social media showed Afghans being beaten and abused by Persian speakers.
Since then, Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said last week, the known number of Afghans in Iran had soared from four to five million in 12 months.
In a telephone call on Tuesday, according to IRNA, Amir Abdollahian reprimanded the new Afghan ambassador to Tehran, Abdul Qayoum Sulymani, for the unrest. He was quoted as having stressed that diplomatic missions’ security was the responsibility of the host country.
Iranian officials also implied that fleeing Afghan nationals are not being brutalized in Iran, despite years of mounting evidence to the contrary. Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh claimed the clips had been published “with the goal of creating fear in Iran and Afghanistan”, while Amir Abdollahian cited a “conspiracy of the common enemies”.