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Afghan poet falsely claims that Afghanistan's Panjshir is part of Iran

Najeeb Barwar, Afghan emigre poet

Najeeb Barwar, Afghan emigre poet

“I come from the distant regions of Iran, from the mountains of the Hindukush and Panjshir."


On March 25, Iran-based Tasnim News Agency posted an article headlined "Leader Encourages Poets to Harness Power of Poetry Against Global Tyranny.” It noted that 40 poets gathered at the Imam Khomeini Hussainiyah in Tehran, a part of the House of Leadership, where Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appears publicly.

According to Tasmin, during the meeting, Khamenei emphasized the importance Iranian people's message to oppressed countries and advocated for the dissemination of high-quality Persian poetry and literature to a global audience. It said that the poems presented to Khamenei addressed various issues, including oppression in Gaza, social concerns and political matters.

According to, the English-language version of Iran’s website, three Afghan poets who live in Iran -- Mohammad Kazem Kazemi, Najeeb Barwar and Seyed Hakim -- were present at the meeting with Khamenei.

Before reciting his poem to Khamenei, Afghan emigre poet Najeeb Barwar declared:

“I come from the distant regions of Iran, from the mountains of the Hindukush and Panjshir."

That statement is false

Panjshir, which means “five lions” in Dari, is a province of Afghanistan located in the northeastern part of the country, hundreds of kilometers from the Afghan-Iranian border.

According to the Afghan website, Najeeb Barwar sought refuge in Iran in February 2022, just months after the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan.

A video of Barwar’s interaction with Khamenei that the Afghan poet posted on his Facebook page drew comments from readers who jokingly asked if they would now need a visa to visit other provinces of Afghanistan.

One read: "If I didn't hear wrong, did you call Panjshir the farthest point of Iran? Does that mean if we want to visit our friends in Panjshir from Salang, we have to get an Iranian visa?"

Salang, it should be noted, is also part of Afghanistan.

After Barwar’s video went viral, (Afghanistan International) shared a spoof of the exchange on its Instagram page.

It features two Afghan comedians, one playing a young poet and the other dressed up as an elderly man with a white beard, with the former telling the latter that he came from “a very, very, very far place,” which he identifies as Las Vegas and suggests is in Iran.