Iranian interior minister calls for deportation of refugees

TEHRAN — Iran’s Interior Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, emphasized the need to expel refugees from Iran, stating that the country cannot continue to accept them.

Speaking to Iranian media, Vahidi called for better monitoring and management of refugees, many of whom face significant challenges living in Iran. He reiterated the stance of many Iranian officials, who have repeatedly stressed the need to expel Afghan refugees and urged the United Nations to facilitate their return to Afghanistan.

Vahidi revealed that 1.3 million undocumented Afghan refugees are currently residing in Iran. The influx of refugees increased significantly after the Taliban took power, causing millions of Afghans to flee due to economic issues and threats posed by the new regime.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) previously reported that Afghans made up the largest refugee population globally in 2023, constituting one in six of all refugees under UNHCR’s mandate.