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Envoy: Iran interacts with Taliban to support people of Afghanistan

President Ebrahim Raeisi’s special envoy on Afghanistan affairs emphasized that Tehran has interacted with the Taliban to support the Afghan people. (Screen grabbed)

Iranian president’s special envoy on Afghanistan affairs says Tehran has pursued an interactive policy with the Taliban based on the principle of supporting the people of Afghanistan. 

In an interview with Radio Dari, a branch of IRIB World Service, Hassan Kazemi Qomi said since the Taliban returned to power, Iran has interacted with the group to support the people of Afghanistan. 

He added that one of the most important principles emphasized by the Islamic Republic of Iran in its interaction with the Taliban is the formation of an inclusive, broad-based government with the participation of all ethnic and minority groups. 

“Iran believes that without the participation of all Afghan groups in the government, stability, security, and economic growth would be out of reach for this country,” the senior diplomat affirmed.

Qomi said it’s the Taliban that must ensure people’s welfare and security, protect borders, and address concerns of neighboring countries, which is why Iran interacts with the group. 

He hastened to add that Tehran believes lack of interaction will provide the Takfiri groups with more opportunities to grow and the number of Afghan immigrants in neighboring countries will also surge.

Qomi, formerly Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, described the Taliban as a part of Afghan society’s reality.

He said securing borders, preventing terrorist groups from moving toward borders, realizing Iran’s water rights from the  Helmand River, and controlling drug trafficking are among the key demands Iran had made from the interim governing body in Kabul.

Referring to the dire condition of people, 60 percent decrease in imports to Afghanistan, and the loss of 70 percent of income of Afghans during the previous year, Qomi said Iran has tried to help its neighor.

Pertinently, the economic crisis facing the war-ravaged country had been fueled by the freezing of Afghan assets by the Biden administration.

The Iranian official also declared the development of a plan between the government of Iran and the interim government of the Taliban to strengthen border security of Iran- Afghanistan.

He emphasized that if this plan is implemented; many present difficulties will be solved, including drug trafficking and illegal border crossings.

In addition, the living conditions of border residents will be stabilized and border economic cooperation will also improve, he added.  

Qomi referred to some problems that emerged during the last few months on the joint border.

“In interaction with the government in Kabul, we have sought to establish stability and sustainable security at the joint borders and tried to promote economic activities to create a joint free economic territory,” the envoy said in his remarks.

Referring to America's crimes during the 20-year occupation of the country and attempt to fuel civil, ethnic, and religious conflicts in Afghanistan, he said the aim was to “involve Iran in Afghanistan’s internal conflicts”.

“America's aim was to involve Iran in Afghanistan's internal conflicts, but Iran managed to take the propitiate policy in this regard,” he noted.

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