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Iran pushes out Afghans

Afghan migrants are being kicked out of Iran. More than 190,000 unregistered Afghans were forced out of Iran from January to September this year, after a security pact was struck between U.S. and Afghanistan. Iran says hostility to the U.S. role in Afghanistan and an economy choked by Western sanctions have persuaded it to cast out the Afghan migrants. (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) REPRESENTATIVE OF AFGHAN MINISTRY OF REFUGEE AND REPATRIATION, SAYED AHMAD, SAYING: "We received some 500 expelled Afghan refugees every day at this border. The government of Iran and its army forces expelled them by force from Iranian soil. Some Afghans are being arrested and expelled from their workplaces, on the way to work or from their homes." Many migrants have called Iran home for decades, as they fled Soviet invasion in 1979 through to the austere Taliban rule of the 1990s. But many refugees believe the key to repatriation is creating jobs back in Afghanistan. (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) AFGHAN MIGRANT WHO WAS EXPELLED FROM IRAN, SAYING: "We urge our government to provide job opportunities to our Afghan youths in order to solve their problems and there won't be a need to go abroad for work." Afghan migrants in Iran send home about 500 million U.S. dollars a year - a considerable sum for one of the world's poorest countries. The funds will become more important as foreign aid shrinks with the departure of Western forces.

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