A Fars provincial official has denied recent reports that claimed Afghan and other foreign nationals living in that province are to be refused food and medical services.
Ghlomareza Gholami, the head of immigrants’ affairs in Fars Province, told the local Fars News Agency correspondent on Tuesday: “It is completely false that there has been an official directive to stop the sale of goods to foreign nationals.”
He added that there are no obstacles to keep immigrants from providing for their needs in Fars Province.
Earlier, Iranian media had quoted Gholami saying that bakeries and delis as well as medical centres should not provide goods and services to illegal immigrants, and the public is now obliged to demand identification cards from immigrants and immediately report those who lack one to the authorities.
The earlier report was explained as a health concern, since illegal immigrants do not go through the appropriate quarantine process.
These statements, which are now being denied by the Fars official, received widespread coverage in Persian media inside and outside of the country.
Iran has accused Afghan media of trying to create a negative image of Iran’s treatment of Afghan immigrants, emphasizing that all legal immigrants enjoy all the legal rights and privileges provided by the laws of the Islamic Republic.
In recent months, media attention has focused on reports of government restrictions on Afghan immigrants living in Iran, especially since certain Iranian provinces have now closed their doors to settlement by foreign nationals.