Press TV – Iran’s security chief has slammed the US for pursuing an “unacceptable” political agenda in neighboring Afghanistan, emphasizing the need for the Kabul government to have the lead in any process to restore peace to the war-ravaged Asian state.
In a phone call with Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib on Tuesday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said the US was treading an “unacceptable” political path in Afghanistan by turning a blind eye to the country’s interests.
He hailed a power-sharing deal recently signed between leaders of the country’s two main political factions, describing it as an “important step towards establishing stability and a powerful government.”
The deal reached between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his main rival Abdullah Abdullah put an end to a months-long election-related feud that plunged the country into a political crisis.
The top Iranian security official further emphasized that the start of intra-Afghan talks would be another “necessary” step to maintain the Afghan people’s achievements.
Iran, he added, “stresses the Afghan government’s central role in all processes related to the establishment of peace in this country.”
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of the so-called war on terror. While the invasion ended the Taliban’s rule in the country, it has failed to eliminate the militant group.
To get out of the quagmire in Afghanistan, the US engaged in a diplomatic process with the Taliban — excluding Kabul — and later reached a deal with the militant group.
Washington is compelled under the deal to pull out troops from Afghanistan by July next year, provided that the militants start talks with Kabul and adhere to other security guarantees.
Despite the process, the Taliban have refused to end their attacks, citing foreign military presence as a main reason behind their prolonged militancy.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the SNSC chief once again rejected some reports claiming that Iranian border guards had thrown several Afghan nationals into a river in western Afghanistan to prevent their illegal entry into Iran.
“While Iranian border guards had no role in the tragedy… the unsubstantiated media fuss ignited by certain Afghan officials and media outlets is surprising and regrettable,” Shamkhani said.
He said there is “unquestionable” evidence which refutes such claims against Iran, and that the issue can be investigated in a joint fact-finding committee free from the “unconstructive” media hype if the Afghan side is willing to do so.
Iran played crucial role in Afghan deal: Mohib
The Afghan national security advisor, for his part, expressed gratitude to Iran for playing a determining role in the agreement reached between Ghani and Abdullah.
He said Afghanistan would never allow the cordial relations between the two neighbors to be affected by unwarranted propaganda.
He expressed hope the recent tragedy would turn into an opportunity for both sides to find a permanent solution to control the joint border.