Iranian president's special envoy for Afghanistan inaugurated

October 26, 2021 - 21:21

TEHRAN – The new Iranian envoy for Afghanistan started discharging his duty on Tuesday after being inaugurated at a handover ceremony held at the Iranian foreign ministry.

A ceremony was held in the presence of Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian at the Foreign Ministry to inaugurate the Islamic Republic of Iran's special envoy for Afghanistan Hassan Kazemi Qomi and appreciate the efforts of Mohammad Ibrahim Taherian who served as the foreign minister's special envoy for Afghanistan, the foreign ministry said. 

The ceremony marked a significant shift in Iran’s foreign policy toward Afghanistan. This was manifested by the fact that the new Iranian envoy for Afghanistan is appointed by the president, not the foreign minister, as was the case with Taherian. 

In the Tuesday ceremony, which was attended by the deputies and directors general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and some civilian and military figures, Amir Abdollahian thanked Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian for his valuable services.

The foreign minister referred to Kazemi Qomi's diplomatic record as Iran's ambassador to Iraq, and Iran's consul general in Herat, calling him the right choice by the president.

Emphasizing Hassan Kazemi Qomi's command of the Afghanistan affairs and his presence at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amir Abdollahian expressed hope that his appointment will complement the right approach adopted towards Afghanistan.

During the ceremony, Kazemi Qomi referred to President Raisi's appointment of a special envoy for Afghanistan and talked about the strategic point of view of the new Iranian administration in the case of Afghanistan.

He said making use of all regional and international capacities to help establish stability and security in Afghanistan and form an inclusive government in the country and planning to implement a comprehensive roadmap regarding the neighboring country are among his plans.

Kazemi Qomi was appointed as Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan by President Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi in mid-October. The appointment came after a deadly attack on a Shia mosque in Kandahar. 

The president expressed condolences over the martyrdom and wounding of a number of prayers at the mosque in Kandahar, saying, “Daesh terrorism is after finalizing the failed mission of western usurpers in Afghanistan, and such attacks are done with the aim of sowing discord, war and religious bloodshed.”

Speaking in a cabinet session after the introduction of the special representative for Afghanistan, Ayatollah Raisi said, “I would like to express my condolences to the brother nation of Afghanistan, urging the Islamic clerics and international institutions to pay attention to the problems of the Afghan brothers and sisters.”

“The increasing number of terrorist acts, which are in line with the United States’ destabilizing strategy in Afghanistan, shows the expansion of the circle of terrorist acts in the country,” he said.

Ayatollah Raisi added, “Therefore, the rulers of the country are expected to carry out their responsibilities in ensuring the security of the nation and use the security-building potentials of the public”.

He continued, “The Islamic Republic of Iran considers itself alongside Afghanistan, and we are ready to help and cooperate for creating stability and sustainable security for the people of Afghanistan.”

Kazemi Qomi’s job as Iran’s envoy for Afghanistan started one day before a regional meeting on Afghanistan in Tehran. Iran will host the meeting on Wednesday and the foreign ministers of Iran, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will attend. Of course, the Chinese Foreign Minister will attend the meeting virtually, according to Fars News.

This will be the second regional meeting on Afghanistan. The first meeting was held in Pakistan.

In mid-October, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said the meeting will focus on forming an inclusive government in Afghanistan. 

“The six countries will be focused on how they can help form an inclusive government in Afghanistan with the presence of all ethnic groups, and how they can help shape a future of peace and security in Afghanistan,” Khatibzadeh said. 

Earlier in September, Pakistan held a meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors. The Pakistani Foreign Office in a statement said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi chaired the meeting attended by China, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Iran has called on the Taliban to form an inclusive government and protect the rights of ethnoreligious minorities including the Shias. In his recent speech, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, warned that the United States and its regional allies are seeking to stoke sectarian tensions in Afghanistan. 

Ayatollah Khamenei said the reason for repetitively reiterating the need for unity is the “serious efforts” by the enemies to deepen the schism between Muslim sects. “Today, the words ‘Shia’ and ‘Sunni’ have entered the political language of the Americans while they oppose and are enemy of Islam itself,” he said, noting that the U.S. and its agents are making efforts to create sedition all over the Muslim world.

“The sorrowful and heart-wrenching explosions in Afghanistan’s mosques against the Muslim and worshipping people are a case in point which was carried out by Daesh, and the Americans openly stated that they created Daesh,” the Leader added.

He was referring to recent two explosions targeting mostly Shia Muslim worshippers performing Friday prayers. The Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks, raising alarm bells in Tehran over a possible plot to pitch Afghanistan’s Shia Muslims against the Sunni Taliban and then pitch the Taliban against Tehran. 

Iran quickly warned about this plot and increased diplomatic contacts with other Muslim countries and institutions in a bit to prevent an internecine war in Afghanistan, one, that if unleashed, would have severe implications for Tehran and the entire region. Amir Abdollahian discussed the situation in Afghanistan with his Turkish and Indonesian counterparts as well as Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Yousef Al-Othaimeen.

Amir Abdollahian told the OIC chief that Daesh attacks in Kunduz and Kandahar are aimed to cause sectarian division in Afghanistan.

It is expected that the Daesh attacks in Afghanistan would be discussed in the Tehran meeting. During his weekly press conference, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the meeting aims to foster cooperation for the future of Afghanistan.

“The Afghanistan meeting is organized with the aim of joint efforts of Afghanistan's neighboring countries. The Tehran meeting will be a forum for participation and cooperation in which countries, instead of competing, seek to work and cooperate for the future of Afghanistan. No one has the right to decide on the future of Afghanistan, the decision is with the Afghan people. The Afghan solution to the Afghan problem is something we should all be looking for,” he said. 

The spokesman added, “Some argue that the root of much of the unrest in Afghanistan today is the catastrophic U.S. escape from Afghanistan after two decades of violence and destruction in Afghanistan, although pathology will be part of the solution, not all. What the Afghan people expect from countries like Iran is to help their will come true.”

He noted, “I think that the Afghan governing body must listen to the will of the Afghan people. In this case, they will be able to present themselves as a responsible governing body.”


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