SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Agency) -Iran says Afghan nationals living in the country will face no new restriction in the current Iranian calendar year, which will end on March 20, 2015.
Aziz Kazemi, who serves as head of the Department for Foreign Nationals and Immigrants at Iran’s Interior Ministry, said Monday that the body will not introduce new bans on Afghans seeking to reside in Iran.
Kazemi said plans for imposing more restrictions on Afghan nationals in certain Iranian provinces are being studied, but so far none of them have been finalized.
The Iranian Interior Ministry department recently banned the accommodation of Afghan immigrants in the northern Iranian province of Mazandaran.
No Afghans are currently living in Mazandaran Province, Kazemi said, adding that a few Afghan families living in this province have been transferred to other provinces.
According to Iran’s law, Afghan nationals are banned from living in nine provinces in the country, most of them in the northern parts.
Iran has criticized the international community for turning a blind eye to the situation of immigrants in the country, calling for global efforts to help Afghans return to their homeland.
Thousands of undocumented Afghans cross into Iran every year in search of employment. Over the past three decades, Iran has hosted tens of thousands of immigrants from Afghanistan, though it has received little international support.
The voluntary repatriation of Afghan immigrants from Iran has been slow in recent years due to the tenuous security situation and economic hardships in Afghanistan, which political analysts say is mainly a result of the US-led invasion of the country.