Iranian officials have expressed support for the Afghan people following the recent instability in Afghanistan and accused the foreign military presence of being a factor behind the security problems in the country.
“The security of Afghanistan is very important to Iran, but the security in Afghanistan must be provided by the Afghans themselves,” Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi said in a telephone conversation with Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan on July 4.
The Taliban group recently extended its control in Afghanistan after US-led troops began withdrawing from the country on May 1. Since then, military violence has intensified and the Taliban have taken other territories.
Following the withdrawal of US military forces from Bagram Air Base, near Kabul, and the expected end of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) mission in Afghanistan, some reports suggest a continued presence of 1,000 NATO military forces in Afghanistan, mainly US troops, which have been stationed to protect the embassies of NATO member states and the Kabul International Airport.
In a meeting with Amir Gol Shahin, chairman of the cultural committee of the Afghan parliament, the chairman of the national security and foreign policy committee of the Iranian parliament, Vahid Jalalzadeh, stressed Iran’s support for the Afghanistan, claiming that the presence of foreign troops in the region has caused instability.
“As the Iranian Supreme Leader said, Iran will defend the interests of the Afghan people and stand by their side for peace and stability,” Jalalzadeh added.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, a former member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, criticized the United States for being at the origin of the crisis in Afghanistan, saying that “the United States seeks to insinuate that there will be no security in Afghanistan without the presence of American troops. “
“Even if we assume that ISIS is the cause of the unrest in Afghanistan, the whole world knows very well that the main supporter of ISIS is the United States,” Boroujerdi said in an interview with the news agency. Mehr.
According to Iranian media, several countries, including Iran, have closed their consulates in the Afghan town of Mazar-e Sharif, in Balkh province, following the deteriorating security situation. The Iranian consulate in Mazar-e Sharif had been evacuated, but Iran’s other representative offices in Kabul, Herat and Jalalabad remained operational.
Rasoul Mousavi, secretary of the South Asia office of the Iranian foreign ministry, said on July 2 that “the main problem for the Taliban is not to ensure geographic control but to try to ensure legitimacy and international recognition “.
He stressed that whether Iran accepts the Taliban or not, it is up to the Afghans to decide their future. “It is important for us to know what kind of conduct they are going to show with their neighboring countries and the Afghan people,” Mousavi added.
After the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group in Afghanistan in 2015, Iran reportedly stepped up cooperation with the Taliban to secure its border, much of which is in areas under Taliban control.
Afghan and American officials have repeatedly accused Iran, particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, of providing financial and military support to the Taliban forces in return for disrupting infrastructure projects that would give the Islamic Revolutionary Guards. Afghanistan greater control over Iran’s water supply. However, Tehran has repeatedly rejected claims that it is helping the group, describing such allegations as being instigated by the United States with the aim of deflecting public opinion from the real cause of the violence in Afghanistan.