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Tajiks See No Political Motives Behind Iran Deportations

DUSHANBE -- Iran has deported 20 Tajik students for violating visa regulations this week, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Tajik Foreign Ministry's spokesman Davlat Nazriev told RFE/RL that 17 of those deported have already arrived in Tajikistan and three others are on their way home.

Nazriev said there were no political factors involved in the deportations.

A Tajik Embassy representative in Tehran confirmed the measures, adding that an estimated 400 or so Tajik nationals are currently studying in Iran.

The majority are reportedly in Iran through state-backed student-exchange programs.

Many of the others who go to Iran on their own are students of local Islamic religious schools, or madrasahs.

Twelve of the deported Tajik students were studying at a religious school in the city of Zahedan, in Iran's Sistan and Baluchistan Province.