Iran Summons Afghan Envoy

( On Tuesday, Iranian state TV reported that Iran summoned Afghanistan’s charge d’affairs to Tehran just one day after protests grew violent outside the Iranian Embassy in Kabul and the Iranian Consulate in Herat over what protesters claimed was the “mistreatment of Afghan refugees” in the Islamic Republic.

The protests were prompted by a series of videos posted on Twitter in recent days showing young Afghan refugees in Iran getting harassed, humiliated, and abused by Iranian citizens.

Video footage of Monday’s protests from the Associated Press showed protesters at the Iranian Consulate in Herat, setting the gates on fire and chanting “Death to Iran” as police attempted to disperse the crowd by firing shots into the air. The video also showed the protesters gathering outside of the Iranian Embassy in Kabul.

Iranian officials have denied that there has been any mistreatment of Afghan refugees in Iran.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Iran’s Embassy in Afghanistan said the Taliban are responsible for the safety and security of Iran’s diplomatic mission. The Embassy said it would halt consular services in the country “until further notice,” Iranian state TV reported.

A short time later, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh contradicted the statement from the Iranian Embassy, saying Iran’s diplomatic missions in Afghanistan have remained open and will “continue to operate.”

While Iran’s mullahs have generally maintained good relations with the Taliban, there have been tensions along the Iran/Afghanistan border where active smuggling routes abound.

Before the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, nearly 4 million Afghan refugees were living in Iran. Since the Taliban took power last August, that number has jumped to 5 million.