Iran faces a new challenge after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, especially in light of the influx of refugees to it against the background of the security and political turmoil on Afghan soil.
Thousands of Afghan refugees are in Iran already. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees puts these refugees at 780,000.
This puts Iran in second position after Pakistan as far as the number of Afghan refugees is concerned.
Pakistan hosts 1.5 million refugees from Afghanistan.
Iranian statements on Afghan refugees were tainted with major contradictions in the past period.
Iranian authorities said they were ready to receive Afghan refugees in Iran. This happened when the Taliban took over Kabul.
However, when the refugees started to flow into Iran, Iranian authorities repatriated them, according to some of the refugees.
There are large numbers of Afghan refugees in Iran already. Nevertheless, recent developments in Afghanistan apparently portend a larger flow of refugees into the Islamic Republic.
Videos shared on social media show hundreds of Afghans trying to enter Iran across mountainous areas between the two countries.
Around 1,000 Afghan refugees have already entered Iran through one of the crossing points with Afghanistan, according to Iranian media.
An additional 2,000 refugees have applied for entry into Iran, the media said.
When the Taliban took over Afghanistan, Iran said it was ready to receive Afghan refugees in cities close to the border with Afghanistan.
Nonetheless, the Iranian interior minister conceded recently that his country had returned some Afghan refugees who had entered Iran against the background of the latest developments in Afghanistan to their country.
He added that his country had deported the refugees, following a temporary stay in Iran.
“Iran works to return the remaining numbers of refugees to their country,” the interior minister said.
He noted that Iran has problems in cities close to the border with Afghanistan.