Skip to main content

More than 700,000 Afghans leave Iran as economy slows




More than 700,000 undocumented Afghans have returned from Iran this year as the Iranian economy tightens, with a knock-on effect on the Afghan economy, according to data from the U.N.’s migration agency.

In a report covering the period up to Dec. 1, the International Organization for Migration said a total of 752,325 Afghans had returned from Iran and Pakistan, including 721,633 from Iran.

“Undocumented returns from Iran in particular are seeing a massive increase over previous years, largely driven by recent political and economic issues in Iran including massive currency devaluation,” the IOM report said.

Demand for Afghan labor in Iran’s informal economy had drastically fallen, it added.

“As all Afghans typically send home their earnings in the form of monthly remittances, the Afghan economy itself, already evident in the drought affected provinces of Herat, Badghis and Ghor, is suffering direct and immediate effects.”

Iranian media reports say many of the Afghans had returned or were seeking to enter Turkey to reach Europe after the fall of the Iranian currency, which has lost about 70 percent of its value this year.

Iran emerged in early 2016 from years of global sanctions under a deal with world powers that curbed its disputed nuclear program.

But U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in May, calling it flawed to Iran’s advantage, and reimposed far-reaching U.S. sanctions in phases, with the most damaging oil and banking penalties taking effect on Nov. 5.

Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, told Reuters that increasing U.S. pressure on Iran would cause problems for Afghanistan.

“The Trump sanctions will put the Iranian economy into a void, and is doing that. (The people) who will first lose a grip on their existence are the Afghan registered and unregistered refugees and migrants,” he said.

Last month the top U.N. humanitarian official in Afghanistan, Toby Lanzer, told reporters in Geneva that the U.N. had expected up to 700,000 Afghans to return from Pakistan this year, but very few had made the move, while the returns from Iran took the U.N. by surprise.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Armenian protesters block traffic, railways & airport as protest leader loses PM bid

Anti-government protesters disrupted traffic in Armenia’s capital, blocking railways and roads leading to Yerevan International Airport, after the parliament voted against opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan’s bid for interim PM.
Protesters managed to block streets connecting downtown Yerevan to residential districts, disrupting transportation in Armenia’s capital, footage from the scene shows. 
Yerevan’s metro system has also been paralyzed as demonstrators sit on the tracks, preventing trains from passing.
Meanwhile, protesters disrupted traffic on a road leading to Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport, located just 12km from the center of the city. 
Consequently, some passengers had to go the rest of the way on foot in order to catch their flights, according to Sputnik news agency.
Railway services have also been disrupted all across the country amid the demonstrations, a spokesman for South Caucasus Railways confirmed to Interfax. 
Some other highways, including the one connecting th…

Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against Israel’s impunity

Damascus has threatened to exercise its legitimate right for self-defense against Israeli aggression and target Tel Aviv airport in a mirror response, unless the Security Council puts an end to IDF intrusions into Syrian airspace.
Apparently fed up with years of Israeli impunity in the Syrian skies and regular strikes carried out in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport, Syria has threatened to retaliate in explicit terms.
“Isn’t time now for the UN Security Council to stop the Israeli repeated aggressions on the Syrian Arab Republic territories?” Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari wondered Tuesday.

Or is it required to draw the attention of the war-makers in this Council by exercising our legitimate right to defend ourself and respond to the Israeli aggression on Damascus International Civil Airport in the same way on Tel Aviv Airport?
Air strikes against alleged ‘Iranian targets’ in close proximity to Syria’s busiest airport have become a norm for…

Iran showcases massive UNDERGROUND missile factory, with new rockets & warheads galore

As Tehran unveiled its newest weapon, it also shared rare footage of a secretive underground complex where Iranian missiles are being built. 
It has vowed to carry on with its missile program, despite objections from the West.
Iran’s new missile was showcased on Thursday, with top military officials unveiling the weapon and, in an unprecedented move, showing the subterranean factory. 
The location of the facility was not disclosed, for obvious reasons.
The facility was described by the Iranian media as an “underground city” – and its scale appears to be quite impressive. Footage from the scene shows vast corridors, full of various missile parts, including warheads, all at different stages of assembly.
The videos also showed workers at the plant fulfilling tasks, from merely spinning nuts to fine-tuning some tiny electronic devices, thought to be parts of the missiles’ guidance system.
The new missile, called Dezful, is said to be an upgraded version of the Zolfaghar ballistic missile. 
It bo…