Tehran summons Afghan envoy over incidents at diplomatic missions

Iran on Tuesday summoned Afghanistan’s chargé d’affaires in Tehran to protest attacks on Iranian diplomatic missions in Kabul and Herat.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said consular services at diplomatic missions in Afghanistan would cease their operations until full security is assured, Anadolu Agency reported.

The ministry urged Afghan authorities to take action against those who attacked its diplomatic missions in Kabul and the western city of Herat.

On Monday, dozens of people gathered outside the Iranian Embassy in Kabul, hurling stones and smashing security cameras, according to local reports.

The Iranian Consulate in Herat was also targeted on Monday by angry protesters, apparently not happy with treatment being meted out to Afghan refugees in Iran.

As per reports, the angry mob tried to barge inside the consulate building but the attempt was thwarted by guards and Afghan security forces, who opened fire in the air.

On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) authorities to ensure the security of Iran’s missions in the country.

“The full security of embassies and diplomatic missions of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Herat and other cities of Afghanistan must be observed and the necessary guarantees for the safe operation of these missions are necessary,” he told reporters in Tehran.

Last week, three Iranian clerics were stabbed by a 21-year-old man at the popular Rezavi shrine complex in Iran’s northeastern city of Mashhad. One of them died on the spot and another succumbed to his injuries later at a hospital.

While authorities in Mashhad did not reveal the identity of the assailant, local media said he was an Afghan national who had illegally come to Iran last year, Anadolu reported.

The videos of the incident went viral on social media, which were accompanied by videos showing the ill-treatment of Afghan refugees in Iran.

Referring to the stabbing incident, Khatibzdeh said videos were being circulated on social media to stoke tensions between the Iranian and Afghan peoples.

Iran plays host to some 4 million documented and undocumented Afghan refugees, 1 million of whom fled their native country after the IEA’s sweeping takeover last August.

Iranian Ambassador in Kabul, Bahador Aminian, has held a series of meetings with senior Afghan officials in recent months, including Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, to discuss the issue of refugees.