EghtesadOnline: Those who disrupt peace in Afghanistan are the United States and its allies in the region while Iran’s policy is focused on promoting peace in the war-torn country, a lawmaker said.
“Experts agree that the people of Afghanistan are suffering various problems and calamities as a result of [the intervention] of foreigners, including the US,” Abbas Moqtadaei, deputy chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ICANA.
He made the statement in response to recent remarks by American negotiator on Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who had accused Iran of trying to impede US peace efforts.
Afghanistan has been engaged in a civil war with the Taliban since the US overthrew the insurgent group from power in 2001.
In February, the US and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, based on which Washington agreed to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, and Taliban pledged to enter talks with the Afghan government.
US-brokered peace talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban finally opened in Doha on Sept. 12, where the two warring sides sat face-to-face for the first time.
Nevertheless, the negotiations reached an impasse due to disagreements over a framework for talks, while violence between Taliban fighters and Afghan government forces continued even during the negotiations.
Khalilzad had alleged that Iran is trying to scupper the agreement to keep the US bogged down in its longest war.
"Iran would like to keep us entangled in a conflict without winning or losing, but paying a high price in Afghanistan until there is an agreement between the US and Iran," he had asserted, referring to the conflict between Tehran and Washington over the 2015 nuclear deal.
Moqtadaei stressed that Iran’s policy on Afghanistan involves efforts to establish peace and security since it complements peace efforts across the whole region.
“Foreign [non-regional] countries don’t have any sympathy for this region’s people and seek to reap more benefits while Iran’s purpose is to help the people of the region,” he said.
According to Khalilzad, the US had offered to meet Iranian officials to discuss the Afghan issue.
“They should join various [forums] where we are there and they are there, to discuss the future of Afghanistan," he said.
The Iranian lawmaker said Iran never interferes in its neighbors’ domestic affairs but supports peace processes and cooperation among their political groups.
“The peace process in Afghanistan should continue through domestic dialogue without the intervention of Americans,” he said.