U.S. is responsible for crisis in Afghanistan

July 14, 2021 - 21:42

TEHRAN — In a meeting titled “Recent Developments in Afghanistan,” Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Rasoul Mousavi elaborated on the situation in Afghanistan, holding the United States chiefly responsible for the new emerging conflict in Afghanistan.

Mousavi began by saying that in one of the reports that were sent to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, he stated that in any policy-making and decision-making process in the Afghanistan issue, the Foreign Ministry should consider the interests of the two countries.

Pointing to the current situation in Afghanistan, he said according to reports 207 districts are currently under the control of the Taliban, with 70 districts in conflict and 102 districts under the control of the government. In terms of population, the Taliban-controlled areas are approximately 16 million, while the government-controlled areas are 10 million, and six million are settled in areas of conflict.

He said, "If we want to consider in terms of area, 45% of the area is in the hands of the Taliban, there is a conflict in 29% of areas, and 26% of the country is in the hands of the government. If we look at the district, population, and territory, the Taliban have the upper hand. Indeed, the main cities are not under the control of the Taliban, but it can be said that the Taliban have the upper hand.”

The deputy minister referred to the upcoming scenarios, including the revival of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan by the Taliban, saying, "This scenario is likely, but it should be noted that the Emirate was announced in 1997-2001, but an important weakness was that it was not recognized by the international community. Only Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan recognized it.”

Mousavi, director-general of the South Asia Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also referred to the inter-Afghan dialogue meeting last week in Tehran and said, "The participants in the Tehran meeting were a unique team. A group that believed in a republican system.”

A two-day inter-Afghan dialogue meeting was held in Tehran on Wednesday and Thursday (July 8-9). Representatives from the Afghan government, high-ranking Republican figures, and the Taliban's high political delegation were present at the meeting.

Regarding the Tehran meeting, the deputy foreign minister added that five years ago when Haneef Atmar, Afghanistan's then-national security adviser, visited Tehran and met with Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, there was a discussion on good offices between the central government and the Taliban. Iran agreed to act as a mediator, and the Taliban agreed to talk to the government.

He continued, "At that time, the Taliban had small demands, for example, that governors be from them and so on. The Taliban's readiness and their demands in January 2018 and during Shamkhani's visit to Kabul he raised this issue with Hamdullah Mohib, the central Afghan government thanked Iran and said, ‘let us answer.’ Of course, we know that the Americans stopped them.”

He said that the United States accused Iran of having ties with the Taliban. 

“I leave the responsibility to the United States, which did not allow these negotiations to take place in 2018, and then it itself formed the peace negotiations and labeled it as the peace negotiations.”

"Peace must be achieved between those who are at war," he said. 

The Iranian diplomat proposed the question, “How is it that one country has a strategic alliance with another, but concludes a peace treaty with an insurgent group against it?”
Mousavi said the United States must have built structures before it had left. 

No peace was formed, and the security structures did not become what they should be, he regretted, adding a five-star army was created that had no operational capability, 

“An army that could not resist.”

He added, "For me, Afghanistan is my second country and we should all try to understand the reality in this situation."

While assessing the role of the United States in Afghanistan and their plans for the period after leaving Afghanistan, the Foreign Ministry official said, "I believe that the United States has suffered a definite defeat in Afghanistan. The United States had no choice and the return of America was inevitable.”

Mousavi said that The Doha talks were meant to turn this defeat into a new political and security opportunity, but whether it can or not is another matter.

The U.S. and the Taliban held a series of talks in Doha, Qatar. The talks started during the Trump presidency.
Mousavi said he believes the Doha agreement was for the U.S. to manage the defeat and pull itself out of the situation.

He also said that the United States “did not have a strategy for Afghanistan, but a set of strategies.”

“U.S. is conspiring”

Mousavi said that the United States is now conspiring and wants to engage Afghanistan in a new war.

"The new U.S. war in Afghanistan is an inter-Afghan war and the inter-Afghan war is very dangerous for the future of the region and its neighbors, and efforts must be made to prevent a new war,” the diplomat insisted.

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