Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.2
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
About one million foreigners mainly from Afghanistan living in Iran illegally, Iranian Police Chief Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam said, Iranian Hamshahri newspaper reported on Dec. 2.
He went on to note that each year Iran deports some 300,000 of foreigners illegally residing in the country.
Ahmadi-Moghaddam said that about 1.3 million of foreigners legally living in Iran.
Thousands of undocumented Afghans cross into Iran each year in search of employment.
Iranian officials said that over the past three decades, Iran has hosted many refugees from neighbouring countries, especially Afghanistan, though it has received little international support.
On Nov. 20 Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report making harsh criticisms of Iran's policy toward Afghan refugees.
HRW said Iran was deporting "thousands of Afghans to a country where the danger is both real and serious".
Iran, along with Pakistan, has been a major destination for Afghans fleeing violence and persecution in their home country over the past few decades.
According to available statistics, over three million Afghan refugees are living in Iran.