EghtesadOnline: Tehran dismissed an American envoy’s accusation of Iran’s destructive role in Afghan peace efforts, describing it as “irresponsible” and a sign of the United States’ lack of adequate understanding of developments in Afghanistan.
Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian, a special envoy of Iran’s foreign minister for Afghanistan, said the US is resorting to a blame game to justify the inefficiency of its Afghanistan policies by accusing other countries.
“The statements of an American official result from the gradual uncovering of the mistake made by the architects of the Doha agreement about the method of pursuing a peace process,” he was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Afghanistan has been engaged in a civil war with the Taliban insurgency since the US overthrew the 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.
The American negotiator on Afghanistan has recently accused Iran of 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," Zalmay Khalilzad told a virtual event of the US Institute of Peace on Thursday, AFP reported.
Tehran and Washington have been at odds over the 2015 nuclear deal. US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal in 2018 and imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran, in hope of forcing Iranian leaders to renegotiate a more comprehensive deal.
It announced recently that all global sanctions against Iran that were eased under the nuclear deal have returned as a result of the US activation of a so-called snapback process.
Washington has moved to enforce the sanctions using its own power since the global community have not acknowledged the resumption of resolutions against Iran.
Despite the intense pressure, Iran has refused to enter any negotiation unless all sanctions are removed.
The US has offered to meet with Iranian officials to discuss the Afghan issue, according to Khalilzad.
“They should join various [forums] where we are there and they are there, to discuss the future of Afghanistan," he said.
Iran has supported intra-Afghani dialogue to restore peace in the war-torn country, but without the intervention of foreign, non-regional countries.
“Iran has officially and explicitly expressed support for negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban, and stressed its readiness to help promote a process of real and sustainable peace in this country,” Taherian said.
Tehran has held separate negotiations with the insurgents over the past two years with the knowledge of the Afghan government and with the purpose of facilitating talks between the militant group and the government in Kabul.