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EghtesadOnline: The Iranian Foreign Ministry says there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and the continuation of foreign military presence in the country will further complicate the situation.

Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in his weekly press briefing on Monday that all of Afghanistan’s neighbors had to strive toward facilitating stability in the country, PressTV reported.

A US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan in 2001, claiming that the then-Taliban regime in the country had harbored Osama bin Laden, the now-slain leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist group. While the war has continued to become the longest in US history, peace has not been established in the country, as the Taliban have been fighting an armed militancy both against the Afghan government and the foreign forces.

Qassemi said countries interested in seeing calm in Afghanistan had to reduce their meddling there and allow the Afghan people to determine their own fate through dialog.

Saudi Arabia & 9/11

Qassemi was asked about the recent publication of documents showing that Saudi Arabia may have been involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. Without naming Saudi Arabia, he said the 9/11 matter was clear and “a certain country” was accused of involvement in the attacks. He said he hoped that justice would be served and that no such attacks would ever occur again.

Around 3,000 people died in the 9/11 attacks when hijackers rammed airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York City. Of the 19 people involved in the attacks, 15 were Saudi Arabian nationals.

The al-Qaeda terrorist group claimed responsibility for those attacks, and the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan shortly afterwards.

‘Iran will react to violation of JCPOA’

Qassemi also said that the Islamic Republic would react to the violation of a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal.

“In case a country for whatever reason fails to meet its commitments [under the deal], it will have to pay the heavy price of non-performance. It doesn’t matter what country it is [that non-performs],” he said.

“As previously said, Iran will not initiate a violation of the JCPOA but of course will react as necessary to violations by any other country and will not tolerate the JCPOA’s breach,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said, using an official abbreviation to refer to the deal.

He explained, however, that any decision on whether non-performance had occurred was to be made by the Iranian high-level Supervisory Board.

The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries in 2015. Iran’s partners under the deal are France, the UK, China, Russia, the US, and Germany.

Washington has recently been attempting to undermine the deal, including by trying to influence the reporting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran.

Qassemi said the IAEA would not allow third parties to determine what the agency has to do.

‘Zarif to travel to New York’

Elsewhere in his remarks, Qassemi said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had now been scheduled to travel to New York for an annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Asked about whether Zarif would meet with P5+1 foreign ministers, Qassemi said the Foreign Ministry was currently planning meetings that are necessary.

‘Iranophobia worn-out tactic’

A reporter asked Qassemi about the recent anti-Iran remarks by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. He replied that Iranophobia had turned into a worn-out tactic and was being used as a tool for the pursuance of political goals by certain countries in the region.

Iranian influence in the region is an obvious and natural thing, he said.


Bahram Qassemi Iran Afghanistan Afghan conflict