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Afghan Parliament Votes to Dismiss Foreign Minister

Afghan lawmakers have voted to dismiss the nation's foreign minister in a dispute about Iran's expulsion of tens of thousands of illegal Afghan refugees.

Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta lost a second no-confidence vote Saturday.

But Afghan President Hamid Karzai referred the issue to the Supreme Court. He said Spanta will remain in office until the court rules whether the dismissal vote was legal.

Spanta is the second minister that lawmakers have voted to oust in the past week. On Thursday, parliament voted to fire the minister of refugees, Mohammad Akbar Akbar.

Parliamentarians accuse the two ministers of not doing enough to accommodate thousands of returning Afghan refugees who have been forcibly repatriated from Iran.

Nearly one million Afghan refugees are registered in Iran. But there also are hundreds of thousands who are in Iran illegally.

The United Nations has expressed alarm about the situation, estimating that some 44-thousand illegal Afghan refugees have been kicked out of Iran since April.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.