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US occupation of Afghanistan brought nothing but death and destruction: Iranian FM Spox

Taliban militants atop a Humvee vehicle take part in a rally in Kabul on August 31, 2021 as they celebrate after the US pulled all its troops out of the country to end a brutal 20-year war. (Photo by AFP)

Iran says the 20-year-long American occupation of Afghanistan brought “nothing but death and destruction” to the country, reaffirming its support for the neighboring Afghan nation in its efforts to achieve calm and stability following the US military’s withdrawal.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh termed the US military’s pullout from the war-ravaged country “a historic opportunity” for the Afghan leadership to put an end to the cycle of violence and form an “inclusive government.”

A US military C-17 carried the last American troops out of Afghanistan on Monday, marking the formal end of the longest war in US history.

The final US drawdown came ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden, following three-week evacuation efforts marred by violence and chaos.

20 years of US occupation brought Afghanistan nothing but death & destruction.

It's now a historic opportunity for Afghan leaders to put an end to their people's plight by ending violence & forming an inclusive government.#Iran stands with the brotherly nation of #Afghanistan.

— Saeed Khatibzadeh (@SKhatibzadeh) August 31, 2021

Last week, more than 200 people, including 13 American troops, were killed in multiple bombings outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, which was followed by US drone strikes that claimed the lives of seven Afghan civilians, including women and children.

Together with its allies, the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to eliminate the Taliban; however, not only did the Americans fail to achieve that goal, they set the stage for Daesh, the world’s most notorious terror group, to gain a foothold in the country.

Twenty years on, the Afghan government and military collapsed in the face of the Taliban’s swift advances on the ground, which many attribute to the hasty withdrawal of US-led foreign forces from the country.

Iran, closely watching the dramatic developments, has called for a peaceful transfer of power and an inclusive government with the participation of all Afghan political and ethnic groups.

At his weekly press briefing on Monday, Khatibzadeh asserted that Iran was ready to facilitate intra-Afghan talks to help pave the way for the formation of an inclusive government there.

“We have always stood by the people of Afghanistan and our priority has been to ensure peace, stability and progress in Afghanistan,” he said, describing Afghanistan as a “dear neighbor.”

Support to Afghanistan

Last week, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei reiterated Iran’s support to Afghanistan, while referring to it as a “brotherly country, with the same language, religion, and culture.”

“Governments come and go. What remains is the Afghan nation,” the Leader declared, while slamming the US as “the source of Afghanistan’s crises.”

In his remarks on Monday, Iran’s newly-elected Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also denounced the US misdeeds and missteps in Afghanistan.

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