Iran deports tens of thousands of refugees to Afghanistan

Iran’s Director General of the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs in Khorasan Razavi province, Hossein Sharafati Rad, has announced that 90,000 Afghan nationals have been deported since March.

According to the Iranian state news agency IRNA, these refugees arrived in Afghanistan through the Islam Qala— Dogharoun border between Herat and Mashhad cities.

The deportees include voluntary repatriation and those who were held by Iranian police across Tehran and other cities and transferred to detention centers in Mashhad before being sent back to Afghanistan, Rad added to IRNA.

Sharafati Rad also noted that in the spring of last year, 86,016 refugees were deported to Afghanistan from Iran.

A recent report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) revealed that Afghanistan is among the top three countries with the highest number of refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced people in 2022. The report found that of a total of 108.4 million people displaced, 5.7 million are from Afghanistan.

When the Taliban swept across the country in August 2021, tens of thousands of people crossed the western border to take refuge in Iran, escaping retaliation, instability, and economic meltdown. The UNHCR report states that 2.6 million Afghanistan refugees arrived in Iran in recent years.