Border tensions due to ‘misunderstanding’: Iran


The Interior Minister of Iran, Ahmad Wahidi, said the border tension between Afghanistan and Iran was due to misunderstandings and that they contacted the Islamic Emirate’s officials to address the issue.

This comes as video making the rounds on social media show that Iran has deployed more troops along the border with Afghanistan in the Islam Qala port in western Herat province.

“They (Islamic Emirate forces) came to the border. They were given instructions. The contact was made with their officials in Kabul and they asked them to return. They went back. Of course, this was repeated once again. We call on the officials in Kabul to (address) it,” Wahidi told reporters in Iran.

But the people living along the Durand Line are worried about the rising tensions.

“There was a clash on the border between Iran and Afghanistan. We want this tension to be solved via negotiations,” said Ahmad Zubair, a resident of Herat.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Emirate called for a resolution of issues through diplomatic means with the neighboring countries.

“We have six neighbors. Many of them are Muslims. We want to have a brotherly engagement,” said Sirajuddin Haqqani, the acting Minister of Interior.

.According to the local sources, the tensions on the border arose after the Iranian border forces resisted the paving of a street by the Islamic Emirate forces in the Islam Qala port area.

Among those summoned was Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar, who told lawmakers that their discussion with Iranian officials on Tuesday evening ended with tension and that, so far, 16 of the Afghan nationals have been rescued, 18 to 20 are missing, and 16 bodies have been found.

Atmar said that some of the drowned Afghans might have been carried away by the river towards Turkmenistan.

But Atmar assured those at the hearing that all diplomatic channels would be used to address the issue, and said that a joint team of Afghan and Iranian officials will be formed to probe the incident.

Also at the meeting, Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, Sayed Husain Alemi Balkhi said that Iran has recently decided not to extend the stay of 450,000 Afghans in that country.

Balkhi said that over the past two weeks Iran has deported 100 to 200 Afghan nationals a day.

Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in a tweet on Wednesday called the reported death of Afghans in the border areas with Iran an “unforgivable crime” and said the Foreign Affairs Ministry will thoroughly follow the issue to ensure justice.—Tolonews