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Iran Said To Resume Deportation Of Afghan Refugees

Afghan refugees being deported from Iran in 2007
Afghan refugees being deported from Iran in 2007
Iran has resumed deporting Afghan refugees despite pledging to stop doing so, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports.

Afghan Refugee Affairs Ministry spokesman Shams-u-Din Hamid said that 9,000 Afghans have already been expelled from Iran this year.

"As in the past, every time the Islamic Republic of Iran has made a pledge [not to deport Afghans], they have violated this pledge and broken their promises," Hamid said.

After talks with Iranian officials in Tehran two weeks ago, Afghan Vice President Karim Khalili said that Iran agreed to stop the forced deportation of Afghan refugees until spring.

There are some 1 million UN-registered Afghan refugees in Iran, with another million estimated to be unregistered. The UN refugee agency says most Afghan refugees in Iran are economic refugees seeking jobs.