US

Protesters shouting “Death to Iran” attack Tehran’s diplomatic posts in Afghanistan

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned the Afghan Chargé d’Affaires in Tehran to protest the violent attacks by Afghans on the Iranian Embassy in Kabul and the Iranian Consulate General in Herat on Monday, the official website reported. from the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

“The Director General of the Iranian Foreign Ministry for South Asia summoned the Afghan Chargé d’Affaires to Tehran on Tuesday to protest vigorously against the attacks,” the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran confirmed on Tuesday. April 12.

“He reminded the Afghan charge d’affaires of the responsibility of governments to provide security for diplomatic missions and called for legal action against those who attacked the missions of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” according to the report.

Tehran closed its Afghan diplomatic missions on Tuesday after they were targeted during violent anti-Iranian protests across Afghanistan a day earlier. The sites will remain closed until Tehran receives assurances from Kabul that it will support the secure operations of Iranian diplomatic missions, according to the April 12 press release.

Mob violence against Iranian diplomatic missions in Afghanistan included, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Tuesday:

Monday [April 11]Dozens of Afghans chanting “Death to Iran” demonstrated outside the Iranian consulate in Herat. […]

Protesters burned an Iranian flag and damaged surveillance cameras at the mission before dispersing, an AFP correspondent said. They also threw stones at the compound.

On Monday, a similar anti-Iran protest took place in the southeastern city of Khost, and another took place outside the Iranian embassy in Kabul.

Alleged videos on social media allegedly showing Iranian border guards and civilians assaulting Afghan refugees sparked the riots outside Iranian diplomatic missions in Kabul and Herat on April 11, AFP reported. The news agency said the videos in question began circulating on social media between April 8 and April 10.[ed] to show Iranian border guards and Iranian mobs beating up Afghan refugees in Iran.

“Video appeared to show Iranian border guards beating Afghan refugees; another appeared to show a group of Iranians dragging and beating refugees in some sort of enclosure,” detailed US government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) on Tuesday.

“The shooting date of the images was unclear and their authenticity could not be independently verified,” AFP acknowledged on April 12.

The Iranian embassy in Kabul dismissed the videos in question as “baseless and invalid” on April 10.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh warned on Sunday of an alleged plot by “certain sympathizers of Iran and Afghanistan” aimed at “driving a wedge between the peoples of each other country”, quoted by AFP.

Iranian Interior Minister Vahid Amiri supported this position on April 12, telling reporters that “some currents and circles seek[ing] to cause division between Iran and Afghanistan” were the original videos, adding that “the conspiracy was planned by the enemies of both nations”.

Iran’s Ambassador to Kabul Bahadur Aminian gave an interview to the Afghan agency Tolo News on April 10 in which he explained this alleged plan by anonymous actors to “poison” diplomatic relations between Iran and Iran. Afghanistan.

“[T]The videos – which show harassed Afghan refugees – are made by certain circles that seek to foment conspiracies to undermine relations between Kabul and Tehran,” Aminian told Tolo News.

“We have a group called the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, which has appointed thousands of people just to release clips. [online] … they are also active in Afghanistan and Iran and everywhere,” the ambassador said.

“They are from the previous government but are cooperating with the interim government [Taliban] so,” he said of the organization.

Aminian referred to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). The group, the largest active dissident organization in the country, is also known as Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) or Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO).

The Taliban, a hardline Sunni Muslim organization, took Kabul on August 15, 2021, after former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. The group previously ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 until the United States launched a nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan and drove the Taliban from Kabul in late 2001. Political unrest pushed thousands Afghans to flee Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan, with many leaving for neighboring Iran in recent months. Iran and Afghanistan share a land border of nearly 1,000 miles.

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