Asked whether Afghanistan was a US-occupied country, he said: “We consider Afghanistan an independent country that has made great strides in democracy over the last 19 years since the Bonn Conference in 2001.” , Had the rights of the people, the rights of women and the rights of minorities. The participation of the people in determining their own destiny in Afghanistan is a fact and we must recognize this fact. These are the things that happened, we were always against the presence of foreign forces in the region.
Zarif added: “We consider the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries in the region to be detrimental to peace and security in the region.” But we do not decide for the governments of these countries. The governments of these countries are independent governments that decide for themselves, and the decision is with the people.
Iran’s foreign minister denied US assistance for the US presence in Afghanistan, saying: “No, we did not help the US presence, we helped independence and the establishment of a democratic government in Afghanistan.” First, the Bonn Conference was after the US presence in Afghanistan, and after the confrontation of the Afghan people and the Northern Alliance with the help of the United States and with our help against the previous government. A government recognized by the United Nations was able to return to Kabul. But what happened in Bonn, in fact, helped different Afghan groups to shape a democratic future for Afghanistan. Perhaps your point is that the two most important actors in the Bonn Conference were Iran and the United States, which worked with the leaders of the groups that were present on a democratic future for Afghanistan.
Asked whether Iran’s policy towards Afghanistan had changed since the assassination of Martyr Soleimani, he said: “Our policy towards Afghanistan has never changed. Our policy has always been that we support the government and people of Afghanistan.” We believe that all Afghan groups should decide on the future of Afghanistan, and this policy is the policy of the regime, not the policy of the servant, nor the policy of the late Martyr Soleimani. Of course, I must emphasize that the role of Martyr Soleimani in establishing democracy in Afghanistan at the Bonn Conference, if not more than me, would not be less.
“We have always said that,” Zarif said. We said that the assassination of Martyr Soleimani accelerated the US withdrawal from the region. As we have seen in Iraq, the Iraqi parliament voted on the need for the withdrawal of American troops.
The Iranian foreign minister also said: “In Afghanistan, we believe in the lawful and calculated withdrawal of foreign forces, based on the will of the Afghan people and the responsible transfer of security responsibilities to the Afghan forces, not in a way that the Americans now go to negotiate with the Taliban.”
Rejecting the claim that the US presence in Afghanistan has also contributed to Iran’s national security, he added: “We do not think so.” We do not have this impression. You see, the external presence everywhere creates an internal emotion that is used by extremists and extremists for terrorist purposes. This was a fact, we saw it in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi was created in Iraq after that. The US presence in Afghanistan has hurt the feelings of groups in Afghanistan that have been exploited by ISIS, al-Qaeda and the Tehreek-e-Taliban.
Regarding Iran’s active role in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, the Iranian Foreign Minister said: “During the Taliban era, we had relations with the government of the late Ustad Rabbani, which the United Nations recognized as Ustad Rabbani’s government, and we also had relations with that government. In Afghanistan, too, we actively cooperated with the Northern Alliance, the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
He continued: “We had a close relationship with Dr. Abdullah, who was the foreign minister of the government at that time.” Before going to the Bonn Conference, I met with Dr. Abdullah in Tehran and heard the views of the legitimate government of Afghanistan from Dr. Abdullah, and based on that, I went to the Bonn Conference. Therefore, our relationship with the legitimate government of Afghanistan has always been and in the last 20 years we are happy that the legitimate government of Afghanistan was formed on a democratic basis and respect for the rights of the people. We have always played an active role in the Bonn Conference, the Tokyo Conference and the inauguration. Khaf-Herat Iron, which was our latest achievement in this relationship.
Asked what is your common promise between Iran and the United States in Afghanistan, Zarif said: “We have our position.” Now we do not know what is really the US position in Afghanistan? If the US position in Afghanistan is reflected in their talks with the Taliban and their agreement with the Taliban, then we are certainly opposed to that position. We consider that action a dangerous action. Not in the interest of the Afghan people, just a domestic action for the United States to leave. But if you want to share Iran’s positions, our position is clear. Our position is that the people of Afghanistan must determine their own future, including that of the Taliban.
He continued: But America left. We never went with a foreign group to decide on the future of Afghanistan. America did it.
Regarding the details of Iran’s relationship with the Taliban, Zarif said: “We will definitely work with the Taliban, but not to go with them to decide on the future of Afghanistan and sign an agreement.”
He pointed out: Talib has committed many terrorist acts. Whether the Taliban is a terrorist group or not, we have not yet expelled the Taliban from the terrorist group in our laws. In our laws, as in the laws of the United Nations. We are subject to the United Nations.
“As the UN Security Council decides, we behave the same way,” Zarif said of whether the Taliban is a terrorist group in Iran. But we believe that the Taliban is a reality in the future. I want to mention two facts. You see, we have two realities in Afghanistan; Seeker is a fact. But what has happened in Afghanistan over the last 19 years, the achievements of the Afghan people, democracy, the rights of minorities, the rights of women, are also real. Maybe even bigger than Talib. To say that the Taliban have so much territory in Afghanistan, so I have to decide the future of Afghanistan, the Taliban can not claim that it did not exist in the last 20 years, regardless of what has happened in Afghanistan for the past 20 years.
Regarding the martyrdom of Iranian diplomats in Mazar-e-Sharif, the Iranian Foreign Minister said: “We have neither forgiven nor forgotten.” But we decided to take revenge at the same time. You remember that our forces were stationed at the border. There was a possibility of a conflict. The Iranian government decided that such a conflict would certainly be to the detriment of the Afghan people and not just to the Taliban. So we gave up the conflict and we got revenge. But to forgive or forget, no! We have a pain and we endured it for the sake of the Afghan people. At the same time, if we wanted to take revenge, we had to take military action, and we considered that military action harmful to the people of Afghanistan and to the people of Iran.
He added: “It is to the detriment of Iran and Afghanistan that the United States sits down and signs an agreement with the Taliban and wants that agreement to be imposed on the Afghan people.” This is our position. Our position is that the United States should facilitate inter-Afghan dialogue, not reach out to an Afghan group and reach an agreement where the group does not accept any basis other than its own agreement with the United States.
“We are definitely not doing any of these three things,” he said in response to allegations that Iran was providing weapons, training and healing to the Taliban. We do not give weapons, we do not heal the wounds of the Taliban, but we have a serious conversation with the Taliban. I personally met Mullah Baradar in Tehran. Other international officials have met with the Taliban in Doha or in their own capitals. We are finally in a large area of the Iranian-Afghan border, unfortunately the Afghan government is not established and we have a duty to defend our people.
Asked if the Taliban was an ally of Iran, he added: “The Taliban is present.” Partner now I do not know what we want to call it. We have informed the Government of Afghanistan of all our exchanges, our talks with the Taliban. We helped in many cases that the Afghan government needed to help. During Dr. Araqchi’s recent visit, we fully explained what has been done.
He also said: “For example, the Afghan government had demands from us. We transferred them to the Taliban. We are not mediators. We are a neighbor that Afghanistan is important to us. The future of Afghanistan is important and we want the future of Afghanistan as I said.
Regarding Iran’s non-participation in the September 12 meeting, the Iranian Foreign Minister said: “We have a statement before that meeting to support the peace process in Afghanistan.” We protested against the US administration. I said we do not accept American policy in this regard. Other countries have their own opinion. As I said, we respect the opinion of the Afghan government.
He continued: I talked to Dr. Abdullah both before and after that meeting. We made a statement in support of it. But we certainly do not participate in a US election program. That program turned into an election program with Mr. Pompeo in attendance, and we think Mr. Trump actually sacrificed Afghanistan for his election goals, and we will see in the future how much damage he did to Afghanistan.
Asked if Mullah Akhtar Mansour, a former Taliban leader, was in Iran before he was killed. “I said we never said we had no connection with the Taliban,” he said. Mr. Mullah Baradar also came to Iran and met with the Iranian Foreign Minister. For this reason, he may have meetings with our officials in Iran. We have never hidden this, the Afghan government knows it.
Zarif stressed: “Everyone had a relationship with the Taliban before the talks began.” Do you think the US relationship with Taliban started with the negotiations? Of course, that trip, as far as I know, was a passage with a pseudonym. The first Taliban I saw was when I was in Jeddah at that time as a mediator between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban, and I met the Taliban delegation there. I think he was the Taliban Minister of Information, this was my first meeting with the Taliban. My second meeting with Talib was with Mullah Baradar in Tehran.
He added: “As a cooperation organization with the Islamic Conference, it had an Afghan committee, which included Iran, Pakistan, Tunisia and several other countries.” They were trying to make peace between the Afghan groups, and I, as the representative of the then head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Mr. Khatami, chaired the meeting.
Asked if the Taliban had a home in Iran, the Iranian foreign minister said: “I do not know of such a thing.” People with ties to the Taliban may travel to and from Iran, but there is no such thing as having a base or base in Iran.
He also said about the Mashhad and Zahedan councils: “I also heard this, but we have no truth about this news.” We have three million Afghans or Afghan citizens in Iran. See what kind of relationship we had with the Taliban, I said. We did not create the Taliban, nor did we identify the Taliban. Remember when the Taliban formed a government in Afghanistan, they recognized three countries, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. We did not do that, so our relationship with the Taliban is a necessary connection because of the Taliban presence along our borders. [است].
Regarding the Taliban’s stance on Jafari jurisprudence, Zarif said: “We heard that the Taliban introduced Jafari jurisprudence as a religious minority group.” This is definitely a concern for us. Because the Islamic world complex, especially according to the provisions of the current Afghan constitution, is a set of Islamic jurisprudence in Afghanistan as an official religion, and because the Taliban want to treat Shiites as a minority like Christians or Buddhists, contrary to Islamic standards for all believers in an Islamic way. For the government [است].
He continued: “This is the responsibility of the people of Afghanistan.” I think we have our opinion, but it is the people of Afghanistan who have to decide on their future.
“We have an Islamic republic here,” Zarif said in response to a question about whether Iran would have a problem with a military in Afghanistan, which some say is the Sunni version you have in Iran. If anyone creates a Sunni version of our country, we will definitely welcome it. But the Islamic Emirate is certainly not the Sunni version of the Islamic Republic.
Afrod: In our opinion, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, as stated in the Constitution of Afghanistan, based on the votes of the people, is a solution that has existed for the past 20 years, and our suggestion and our opinion is that the future of Afghanistan should be the basis of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Be the current constitution. But again, this is not our decision. It is the decision of the Afghan people.
Zarif also said about the common face of Velayat-e-Faqih and the Emirate: “These two issues are completely different.” Of course, I am neither a jurist nor an expert in Islamic law. I am an international lawyer and I do not have expertise in this field, but I can say that it is based on two different ways of governing.
He continued: Look. This decision is with the people of Afghanistan. In the Islamic Republic, even the position of Velayat-e-Faqih is elected by the experts elected by the people, so that the opinion of the people is decisive. We have no non-elective position and no permanent position in the Islamic Republic. The leader is constitutionally elected by both the Assembly of Experts and can be removed by the Assembly of Experts.