Iran calls for inter-Afghan peace deal, rejects US agreement

Iran says a so-called peace deal between the Taliban and the United States is an attempt by Washington to justify its illegal presence in Afghanistan, stressing that only domestic talks can stabilize the war-torn country.

The reaction by Iran’s Foreign Ministry Sunday came a day after US and Taliban representatives signed a pact aimed at gradually withdrawing foreign troops from Afghanistan.

Iran said it “believes a lasting peace agreement in Afghanistan will only be achieved through inter-Afghan dialogue with the participation of the country’s political groups, including the Taliban, and by taking into account the concerns of Afghanistan’s neighbors.”  

“The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes any development that contributes to peace and stability in Afghanistan and supports efforts being made in this regard under the Afghan leadership and sovereignty,” it said in a statement.

The agreement was struck in the Qatari capital, but while it creates a path for the US to gradually pull out of its longest war, many say it will pose serious challenges as the Afghan government has so far been sidelined.

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