The Afghan government reportedly expelled two top Iranian diplomats from the country over charges of being involved in intelligence activities and for membership in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), according to information received by TOLOnews.
Sources within the Afghan government said that in retaliationTehran also expelled two Afghan diplomates from Iran. One diplomat was expelled from the Afghan embassy in Tehran and the second from the Afghan consulate in Mashhad.
According to the reports, one of the diplomats, named Mohammad Reza Abdullah Abadi, was serving as the cultural attaché of the Iranian embassy in Kabul and had arrived in Kabul in 2016 for intelligence activities.
The second diplomat was named Jaffar Fatah Abadi, and is recognized as an influential member of IRGC’s Quds Force.
Based on the information, Jaffar Fatah Abadi served in the Iranian Consular Mission in the eastern province of Nangarhar between 2009 and 2014.
“When tensions reach a peak between the countries, then diplomats are expelled,” said political analyst Ahamd Saeedi.
Spokespeople from the Afghan government have not mentioned diplomatic tensions between the two countries, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement has said that bilateral relations between Iran and Afghanistan were normal.
“Relations between Afghanistan and Iran are normal, these relations are based on being good neighbors. The political and consular missions of the two governments are working without any disruption,” said the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.
Waheed Omar, director general of the Office of Public and Strategic Affairs of the President, responded in this manner: “There are discussions between the two countries regarding those issues.”
The Iranian embassy in Kabul said that the diplomatic missions of the two countries are working regularly without any problems.
“Currently, the diplomatic missions of Afghanistan and Iran are fully operational in various cities. The reduction in the limited number of diplomats several months ago was made by a mutual decision between the two governments and some of the claims about this issue were based on rumors and they do not have any credibility,” thr Iranian embassy in Kabul told TOLOnews.
Previously, reports surfaced in the media that Brig. Gen. Ismail Qaani, the newly appointed head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force had travelled to the central province of Bamiyan under the name of "deputy to Iranian ambassador to Kabul" where he reportedly met with Bamiyan governor Tahir Zaheer.