Iran warned that endorsement of the security agreement between the US and the Kabul government would entail dire consequences for the Afghans and the entire regional states.
“The security pact between Kabul and Washington is an internal issue of Afghanistan,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said in her weekly press conference in Tehran on Tuesday.
“Yet, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that endorsement and approval of the security pact won’t be good for the long-term interests of the Afghan nation and government and its implementation will leave negative impacts on the trend of the regional issues,” she said.
Noting that Iran has informed the Afghan officials of its view points about the security pact, Afkham expressed the hope that the final decision in this regard would meet the long-term interests of Afghanistan.
In relevant remarks on Sunday, a senior Iranian lawmaker voiced Tehran’s concerns in the same regard, warning Afghanistan that the pact would undermine its independence.
Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said that the security deal between Kabul and Washington “will decide the fate and future of Afghanistan”.
“If the agreement is implemented, it will pose a serious threat to this country’s independence and dignity,” warned the Iranian legislator, saying that the parliament’s commission is “opposed” to inking this pact.
Last week, Afghanistan’s national assembly of elders approved the signing of a security pact with Washington that would leave behind a residual US troop presence after withdrawal in 2014, while President Karzai said he will not sign the deal immediately.
The Loya Jirga voted in favor of a security deal with Washington that would allow US troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to train national security forces, a deputy speaker of the assembly told the BBC. The assembly is made up of 2,500 elders, tribal leaders and other influential figures in Afghanistan.
“The Loya Jirga requests the president to sign the agreement before the end of 2013,” Fazul Karim Imaq, a deputy of the Loya Jirga said.
President Karzai said he would not sign the deal immediately and that the US needed to bring peace to Afghanistan before any agreement was reached.
“If there is no peace then this agreement will bring misfortune to Afghanistan,” Karzai said in an address to the Loya Jirga. “Peace is our precondition. America should bring us peace and then we will sign it.”
Washington has criticized President Karzai’s government for delaying the signing of the treaty, insisting there must be a decision before the end of this year. The White House wants to finalize plans of how many troops will remain behind following the scheduled withdrawal of forces at the end of next year.