Hundreds of Afghans stranded at Iran border

Hundreds of Afghans stranded at Iran border

Kabul, (Asian independent) Hundreds of Afghan nationals trying to enter Iran have become stranded after Tehran closed its borders due to the outbreak of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant, the media reported.

The Afghan civilians are currently stranded at the Islam Qala port in the border province of Herat, TOLO News reported.

“We have visas, but they still don’t allow us across. They (Iranian border forces) treat us like illegal people. I am shaking because of the cold weather but I am still waiting for their positive response,” Shoib Omarzada, a resident of Kapisa province who came to Islam Qala to cross the border to Iran, told TOLO News on Monday.

“There is no food and the weather is cold as well. We went to the border but Iran says it is closed. I have spent 30,000 Afs and I have waited four nights here,” said Juma Gul Rahmani, a resident of Herat province.

Meanwhile, Humayoun Hemat, the Deputy Commissioner of Islam Qala, said that Iran should admit those who have visas and spent money on travelling documents.

Officials of the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan said that they have discussed the issue with their Iranian counterparts, reports TOLO News.

“The decision to close the border was not made by the Iran Consulate, it was made by the Foreign Ministry in Tehran in coordination with the country’s Health Ministry. We have talked to the Foreign Ministry (of Iran) to reopen the gate for the people who have reached the border,” said Sher Ahmad Mahajar, a local official of the Department of Foreign Relations in Herat.

Earlier in a statement, Iran’s Consulate in Herat said that based on the decision made by the government in Tehran, the borders with Afghanistan would be closed to prevent the spread of the virus.

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