Photo: IRNA

Iranian Interior Minister: Afghanistan immigrants not a security concern

Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi has said that Iran currently hosts more than five million immigrants from Afghanistan and that they do not pose a security challenge to the country.

In an interview with the ISNA news agency on Thursday, Vahidi acknowledged that the precise number of immigrants in Iran remains uncertain; however, estimates suggest that the figure exceeds five million. He added that Iran’s security agencies actively monitor immigrants, but stressed the necessity for a stronger framework to ensure their effective management.

When asked if a large number of immigrants could potentially become a security concern for Iran, Vahidi replied, “Of course not.” He emphasized that although any society may face security issues, intelligence agencies have not reported such a challenge at this time. If any such report arises, it will be dealt with.

A recent report by the United Nations 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 108.4 million people displaced globally, 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 Afghan refugees arrived in Iran in recent years.