Afghans living illegally in Iran will face expulsion within two months, an official source said Thursday.
"It is not possible for Iran to house refugees illegally entering the country, and if they decline to return (to their home states) voluntarily, police will detain them," Safar Eslami, the provincial director general for alien affairs, told the official Iranian news agency, IRNA.
The Iranian government, he said, would implement its decision notwithstanding the fact that “Afghanistan is hit by civil war, severe drought and famine.”
"Afghans who have failed to sign up in accordance with a national program to identify foreign immigrants are subject to the decision," Eslami said.
Iran is home to one of the world's largest refugee populations, which is a direct result of a long drawn-out war plaguing neighboring Afghanistan.
The massive influx of Afghan refugees into Iran is, however, increasingly burdensome to the Iranian government because of an economy reeling under high unemployment and low investment, as well as a crippling drought that has hit the country for the third successive year.
A joint program with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has repatriated tens of thousands of Afghans amid accusations from members of the Iranian Parliament that they are taking badly needed jobs away from Iranian nationals, said IRNA - Albawaba.com
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