Ali Shamkhani said in a Wednesday meeting with the visiting Taliban’s top political leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Tehran that the United States is not seeking peace and security in Afghanistan, and that Washington’s policy is to prolong militancy and bloodshed among various Afghan factions.
Heading a high-ranking delegtion, Baradar arrived in Tehran on Tuesday morning at the invitation of Tehran for talks aimed at speeding up the peace process in neighboring Afghanistan.
During the meeting, Iran’s security chief said “the United States is pursuing sham peace negotiations in order to bring intra-Afghan talks to a deadlock, and blame the parties involved for insecurity and instability.
Shamkhani said Iran never recognizes any entity that would seize power in Afghanistan through war, stressing the need for the participation of all ethnic Afghan groups in determining the fate of the country in a completely peaceful manner.
He said Iran attaches paramount importance to the security of Afghanistan, especially in the provinces bordering Iran, calling for Taliban’s cooperation with the Afghan government in the face of prevalent insecurity and activities of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group on Afghan soil.
Mullah Baradar, for his part, briefed Shamkhani on the peace process in war-torn Afghanistan and pointed to the broken promises of the administration of former US president Donald Trump.
“We do not trust the United States an inch, and will fight any party that serves as its mercenary,” he said.
The Taliban leader added that all ethnic groups and tribes should play a role in shaping the future of Afghanistan, voicing his group’s readiness to help maintain the security of the border between Afghanistan and Iran.
Iran strongly supports the realization of peace and stability in neighboring Afghanistan, Afghanistan has been the scene of rampant violence and militancy since 2001, when the US and its allies invaded the country under the banner of fighting “terrorism.”
Accordingly, the Islamic Republic has been closely following the peace negotiations underway since last September between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Qatar.
Tehran believes that all-inclusive national talks are the sole way out the conflict in Afghanistan, emphasizing the need for the US to end years of futile intervention and aggression in the Asian country.