Afghan refugees in Iran

Iran has hosted a large refugee community for more than 30 years now as Afghans first fled the Soviet invasion, then the Taliban insurgency and now Islamic State attacks. [15 photos total]

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Iranian and Afghan girls gather at the Emam Hasan Mojtaba school in Kerman, Iran, October 23, 2016. To help stem the influx of Afghan refugees to Europe, the European Union is increasing aid to certain countries on migrant routes in the hope of persuading people there to stay put. So far these have included Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and some African countries. Now the EU is trying this strategy in Iran, which sits on the main transit route for Afghan refugees -- the second-largest group after Syrians to have reached Europe by sea last year. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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An Afghan refugee poses with her child at the Bardsir settlement for Afghan refugees in Kerman province, Iran, October 22, 2016. In Tehran, EU humanitarian affairs commissioner Christos Stylianides announced the doubling of EU humanitarian aid to Iran to 12.5 million euros this year, with a special focus on education and health services for Afghan refugee children. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
3
Afghan refugee boys pose next to the EU humanitarian aid sign posted outside their school in the Bardsir settlement for Afghan refugees in Kerman province, Iran, October 22, 2016. "It's better to be close to your home and move back when the situation gets better than to be far away," Stylianides said. "It's better for Afghan refugees to integrate in this society than in Europe. Here it's the same religion, similar mentality, culture. It's much harder in, let's say, Germany." (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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An Afghan refugee family stand outside their shelter at the Bardsir settlement for Afghan refugees in Kerman province, Iran, October 22, 2016. Iran has only recently become more accessible to such EU diplomacy, enabled by a tentative rapprochement after a landmark agreement last year for Tehran to scale down its nuclear programme and the West to ease its hard-hitting sanctions. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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Iranian and Afghan girls gather at the Emam Hasan Mojtaba school in Kerman, Iran, October 23, 2016. The EU hopes humanitarian aid could help re-establish ties with Iran, an Islamic republic of some 78 million people, which has a high number of executions and ranks second in the world on the highest number of imprisoned journalists. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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Iranian and Afghan boys play outside at the Be'sat school in Kerman, Iran, October 23, 2016. Nevertheless, EU's aid to Iran fades compared to 3 billion euros the bloc promised to Turkey for its help in managing migration. Iranian officials said foreign aid covers only about 6 percent of the cost of hosting the Afghan refugee community and said the EU should do more. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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An Afghan refugee girl stands in her home in Kerman, Iran, October 23, 2016. The situation of the three million Afghan refugees in Iran is often dire. Iran has hosted the large refugee community for more than 30 years now as Afghans first fled the Soviet invasion, then the long Taliban insurgency and now Islamic State attacks. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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Afghans wait in line at the Soleimankhani centre for refugees in Tehran, Iran, October 24, 2016. A third of them have a formal refugee status with some limited benefits. But the other two millions are "undocumented", meaning that for generations they have had no access to education, jobs or healthcare. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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An Afghan refugee talks to EU officials and aid workers who visited his home in Kerman, Iran, October 23, 2016. Last year, as its ties with the West started to improve slowly, Tehran allowed children of the "undocumented" Afghan refugees to attend public primary schools. Aid groups on the ground say some 48,000 such children enrolled in 2015. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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Afghan refugee girls gather at the Bardsir settlement for Afghan refugees in Kerman province, Iran, October 22, 2016. It is mostly the younger Afghans who want to go to Europe but EU's asylum acceptance rates for them are low. And they face dangers along the way: For those crossing the Mediterranean, as most Afghan refugees do, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said 2016 is shaping up to be the deadliest year yet. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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A video grab shows Mariam Haidari, an Afghan refugee who has lived in Iran for 35 years, speaking at a refugee administration centre in Tehran, Iran, October 24, 2016. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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Iranian and Afghan girls play volleyball with workers of the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR at the Emam Hasan Mojtaba school in Kerman, Iran, October 23, 2016. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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An Afghan refugee family talks to a Norwegian Refugee Council aid worker in their house in the Bardsir settlement for Afghan refugees in Kerman province, Iran October 22, 2016. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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Iranian and Afghan boys study in a classroom at the Be'sat school in Kerman, Iran, October 23, 2016. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #
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A woman visits the Soleimankhani centre for refugees in Tehran, Iran, October 24, 2016. (REUTERS/Gabriela Baczynska) #

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