Iranian diplomat laments insecurity in Afghanistan

May 20, 2018

TEHRAN – Iran’s ambassador to Kabul on Saturday expressed regret over rising insecurity in neighboring Afghanistan, saying insecurity in the country is contrary to Iran’s interests.

In an interview with Ariana Television Network, Mohammadreza Bahrami said that Iran and Afghanistan have “common threats and interests”.

Iran seeks “long lasting and comprehensive” relations with Afghanistan, Bahrami noted.

“The two countries’ relations have not been influenced by a third element and will be so in future due to an agreement between the top officials of the two countries,” the ambassador remarked.

U.S. forces have been in Afghanistan since 2001. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban government for hosting al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden whom Washington blamed for the September 11 attacks. 

Ambassador Bahrami says insecurity in Afghanistan jeopardizes Iran’s interests.

Ambassador Bahrami said, “We have never sought to help the U.S. interests in Afghanistan. What is important and strategic for us is helping interests of the Afghan government and people.”

On the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, he said Iran “is against the U.S. presence in Islamic countries”.

Elsewhere, he vehemently dismissed accusations that Iran had a role in the Taliban attacks on Farah province, calling them “delusional”, “unsubstantiated” and “unrealistic”.

Taliban militants attacked western Farah province in Afghanistan on Tuesday, attempting to capture the city, however, Afghan forces were able to drive the fighters out.

Officials said the fierce fighting left at least 25 security personnel and 300 fighters dead. The numbers could not be independently verified, according to Aljazeera.

On Sunday, Taliban fighters again closed in on another district in Afghanistan.  According to Reuters, the insurgents were besieging the governor’s compound in Ajrestan district in Ghazni, south of the capital Kabul, although officials said reinforcements had arrived and were relieving police defending the town.


NA/PA

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