Taliban forces have closed a center with links to Iran that had organized a gathering in front of Tehran’s embassy in Kabul to express support for the Islamic Republic.
Tebyan Center for Socio-Cultural Activities, the organizer of the event, said in a statement on Friday that Taliban agents arrested the head of their office Yarmohammad Rahmati on Thursday.
The center held a pro-Iran rally on Wednesday with participants placing flowers on the doors of the embassy building and reading a statement about “solidarity between the brotherly nation of Iran and Afghanistan”.
The Tebyan Center denied reports that the it was shut down completely and said only its activities are restricted without providing details.
There are reports that Taliban has also arrested several people who were connected to the center in Herat.
Protestors Monday attacked the Iranian consulate in Herat hurling stones, smashing security cameras, and burning tires before they were dispersed by Taliban security. Earlier Monday, people also held a demonstration outside Iran’s embassy in Kabul over alleged mistreatment of Afghan immigrants in Iran.
Following the attacks, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Tehran will not resume its consular services before receiving assurances from Afghan authorities over protection of its diplomatic missions in Afghanistan.
Sectarian tensions have risen since the recent killing of two Shia clerics in Imam Reza shrine, Mashhad, in Iran attributed to Sunni extremists.
The number of Afghan refugees in Iran are increasing after the Taliban takeover last year.