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Iran Official Says Afghans Should Be Barred From Becoming Employers

Two Afghan citizens spend time at an Afghan-owned cafe in downtown Tehran, October 7, 2019

The top official of Tehran Province Immigration Office has pointed to the participation of some Afghan residents in recent protests and called for a ban on Afghans from becoming employers and getting jobs as cooks in Iran.

He also mentioned a new regulation that would ban selling real estate to Afghan refugees in Iran. Although Afghans as foreigners currently cannot buy real estate in Iran, they usually use an Iranian citizen as a conduit to own property.

The man in charge of the office has expressed concern over an increasing number of Afghans owning businesses in the Tehran Province.

Fars news agency on December 21 quoted Mansour Haji, the director general of the Tehran Province Immigration Office as having said that "Many Afghan and other foreign citizens in Iran are no longer part of the labor force as their status has changed to that of employer."

Haji said some Afghan citizens in Iran have been purchasing real estate in Iran by using Iranian citizens as their front.

The Iranian government officially banned the employment of Afghan citizens by Iranian government and private sector companies in July 2014. Nevertheless, many Afghan immigrants are working in Iran's construction sector, and many more are working at Iranian farmlands particularly in Eastern Iran near the border with Afghanistan.

The Iranian government has particularly banned the employment of Afghans in the food industry as chefs.

Iranian civil activists have at times criticized the government's measures that limit the activities of around 3 million Afghan immigrants in Iran.

Some government officials have recently charged that Afghan immigrants have been taking part in the anti-government protests in Iran in November.

Nine afghan citizens have been killed and more than 100 other were arrested during the protests.