A group of Taliban supporters carrying flags of the group were seen celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in the Iranian capital Tehran on Friday, according to images shared on social media.
A Facebook post shared by Aref Ahmadi, an Afghan immigrant in Tehran, showed a group of men dressed in Afghan clothing carrying two flags of the Taliban.
Ahmadi said he spotted the men in the Mellat Park in northern Tehran on Friday.
“The three-day Eid ceasefire has also had a positive effect on the Taliban in Tehran, who roam freely carrying their flag and enjoy peace and tranquillity,” Ahmadi wrote on Facebook, referring to the three-day ceasefire the Taliban said it will observe for Eid al-Adha starting Friday.
The images have shocked Iranians on social media.
“[Qassem] Soleimani went to fight in Syria so that ISIS would not come to Tehran and instead we would have the Taliban in Tehran’s parks,” one user tweeted sarcastically in reference to Iranian claims that Tehran intervened in Syria in order to prevent extremist groups from reaching Iran.
Some Afghan and US officials have accused Iran of supporting the Taliban.
An Afghan police official said in February that Iran had supplied the Taliban with anti-aircraft missiles.
In January, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of using militant groups such as the Taliban to undermine Afghanistan peace efforts.
The Taliban had condemned the US killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qassem Soleimani in January, describing him as a “great warrior” in a statement.
Around 2.5 million Afghans live in Iran, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).
Afghans in Iran, the majority of whom come to the Islamic Republic in search of work, face abuse and discrimination from both the authorities and the public.
Iranian border guards allegedly tortured and killed dozens of Afghan refugees by forcing them into a river in early May, sparking anger among Afghans. Iran denied the accusation.