After Afghan protesters attacked the Iranian consulate in Herat, the Islamic Republic Foreign Ministry announced that it has closed the consulate until further notice and sent a letter of complaint to the Afghan Embassy in Iran.

IRNA reports that an informed source has revealed that the letter draws attention to the responsibility of the Afghan government to “protect the lives of diplomats and provide security for diplomatic locations, specifically the Iranian consulate in Herat.”

Two days ago, Afghan protesters attacked the Iranian consulate in Herat, tearing the Iranian flag and throwing rocks at the building. The protesters claim border guards arrested and killed 13 Afghan nationals who were travelling to Iran in search of work. They demand that they be given the remains of these individuals.

The report on IRNA indicates that the Foreign Ministry source has said the allegations are “unfounded” and there has been “no evidence to prove such claims.”

An Iranian diplomat has told AFP that a few months earlier, by request of Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry office in Herat, Iranian authorities issued travel visas to three or four members of the families of the missing individuals. “They came to Iran and returned after some time without presenting us with any documents to prove their claims,” the diplomat told AFP.

Herat is located near the border of Iran and Afghanistan and, since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, it has been relatively safe from violence. Iranian border cities have good trade relations with Herat, and Tehran is involved in several development and industrial projects in this region.