Iran has imposing tough new restrictions on hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees living in the country in an effort to accelerate their repatriation. Almost 2 million Afghans are in Iran, but many are reluctant to return because of poor living conditions.
The head of immigration for Tehran Province has announced: “560,000 unauthorized citizens have been identified and processed.”
Issa Mousavi Nassab, the head of citizenship and immigration in Tehran, told ISNA: “560,000 unauthorized citizens have been identified and processed. Of these files, the married individuals have been issued passports and those who are single have been given time to leave the country.”
He added that there are close to 840,000 Afghani nationals in Tehran and 280,000 legal refugees all across the country.
Mousavi Nassab added that Afghanis and other foreign nationals can only reside in Iran with residency cards or passports, and those who have neither can be dealt with by security forces in accordance with the law.
He added that undocumented citizens have no work permit, and employers that hire such workers will be subject to prosecution.
Human Rights activists have been critical of restrictions being imposed on Afghani immigrants in Iran.