On Friday, Iranian officials announced that the Milk port, one of its most important border crossings and trade routes with Afghanistan, had been closed. The move came amid a fear of a new Afghan migration wave following the fall of the city of Zaranj, the capital of the Nimroz Province located on the Iran-Afghanistan border, to the Taliban.
Speaking to Iran’s state news agency, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the provincial deputy governor for security affairs in Sistan and Baluchistan Province, Mohammad Hadi Marashi, said the decision was taken over the ongoing clashes in the city of Zaranj. In his statement, Marashi said, “The city of Zaranj in Afghanistan fell last night, and the Taliban controlled most of the city’s areas before they retreated after military reinforcements arrived at the city.”
Stating that the situation in the region has simmered down, Marashi added that security forces, including the region’s army, border securities, and police, are fully deployed in the region and on Ibrahim Bridge to track any Afghan movements.”
Except from the Milk port, Iran has other two border ports with Afghanistan. Among those, the Dogaron port, which is one of the most important commercial and travel routes between Iran and Afghanistan, was also taken by the Taliban on July 8. The other one is the Islam Qala port, which is a significant transit point between the two countries, linking the Herat district to the Razavi Khorasan Province in northeastern Iran.
Afghanistan and Iran share a 921-kilometer border.
The ongoing armed clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban push Afghan families to escape towards the Iranian border areas. Local media circulated a video showing fleeing Afghan groups to the Iranian border and reported that senior Afghan officials, including military officers, were among the groups who fled to Iran.
On late Saturday, it was also reported that the Taliban captured a second provincial capital in Afghanistan within 24 hours. Speaking to Agence France-Press (AFP), the deputy governor of Jawzjan Province, Qader Malia, said, “the provincial capital Sheberghan has unfortunately fallen completely to the Taliban.”