Photo: Iran's Foreign Ministry

Iran’s Foreign Minister: Efforts ongoing to release Iranian photojournalist held by Taliban

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said that extensive diplomatic efforts are ongoing to secure the release of an Iranian photojournalist held by the Taliban.

Abdollahian stated on X Friday that he hopes this engagement will lead the Taliban to free the photojournalist, Mohammad Hossein Velayati, soon and hand him over to the Iranian Embassy in Kabul.

Velayati, who worked with the Iranian Tasnim News Agency, was arrested by Taliban authorities from Kabul airport last week.

Tasnim indicated that Velayati had legally entered Afghanistan by plane, adding that they remain ill-informed about his whereabouts.

The Taliban authorities have not explained the reason behind the arrest, Tasnim asserted.

The Taliban officials in the capital have not commented yet.

Recently, the Taliban confirmed that 16 foreign nationals, including five women, are currently being held in the group’s prisons in Afghanistan without providing information about their identity.

Among them include Afghanistan-born French journalist, Mortaza Behboudi, who was detained in January 2023, two days after arriving in Kabul. Despite mounting international condemnation and protests, Behboudi remains in Taliban custody and in incommunicado.