Tehran, Iran – Iran has summoned Afghanistan’s charge d’affaires in Tehran over attacks on its diplomatic missions in the neighbouring country after unverified videos circulating on social media purported to show Afghan refugees being beaten in Iran.
The formal protest came after protesters on Monday pelted Iran’s consulate in the Afghan city of Herat with rocks. They also reportedly broke security cameras and burned the Iranian flag before dispersing after Taliban security forces fired warning shots.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, angry protesters chanted slogans such as “death to Iran” outside the Iranian embassy.
The protests came after videos allegedly showed Iranian border guards and mobs hurting Afghan refugees.
It is unclear when the videos were filmed.
Iran’s foreign ministry and embassy in Kabul have dismissed the videos, saying they are aimed at harming historical and cultural ties between the two countries and their people.
“Unfortunately, some clips and comments are being published with the goal of creating fear of Iran and Afghanistan that have targeted arousing the feelings of the countries’ peoples, and require increasing vigilance by the people and officials of both countries,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement on Monday.
Iran, which shares a 900-kilometre (550-mile) border with its western neighbour, has not yet formally recognised the Taliban government, referring to it as the “governing body” of Afghanistan. Forming an administration that is “inclusive” of ethnicities, religions and women in Afghanistan has been Iran’s stated condition for recognising the Taliban.
People from Afghanistan began migrating to Iran decades ago, fleeing war and unrest. Their numbers have grown to five million people, from fewer than four million before the Taliban’s takeover, after the abrupt departure of United States-led forces in August 2021, according to foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.
Thousands are still thought to be pouring into Iran’s borders each day, but there are no exact figures available.
Iran’s foreign ministry on Monday warned the Taliban that the current situation cannot go on indefinitely and that the group needs to do more to control its borders.