Tehran, Iran – The “defeat” of the United States in neighbouring Afghanistan should be transformed into an opportunity to “revive life, security and lasting peace” in the country, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi says.
The new president told outgoing foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a phone call on Monday that Iran encourages all groups in Afghanistan to work towards national unity as a “neighbouring and brotherly” country, his website quoted him as saying.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the reign of the will of the wronged people of Afghanistan has always created security and stability,” he said. “While consciously monitoring developments in the country, Iran is committed to neighbourly relations.”
On Sunday, after Kabul was taken by the Taliban, the foreign minister presented Iran’s first major reaction when he welcomed the formation of a coordination council.
“We hope that it can lead to dialogue and a peaceful transition in Afghanistan,” Zarif said in a tweet, adding that violence, war and occupation never solve problems.
Violence & war—like occupation—never solve problems.
Iran welcomes announcement by @KarzaiH on forming a Coordination Council by Afghan leaders.
We hope that it can lead to dialogue & a peaceful transition in Afghanistan.
Iran stands ready to continue its peacemaking efforts.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) August 15, 2021
Earlier this month, then-President Ashraf Ghani, who fled Afghanistan on Sunday, became one of the most senior officials to take part in Raisi’s inauguration ceremony in Tehran.
Zarif on Monday met with Yue Xiaoyong, China’s special envoy to Afghanistan, in Tehran.
A statement by the Iranian foreign ministry said Zarif emphasised the necessity for preventing more violence and war. He also referred to the displacement of Afghan citizens and their taking refuge in neighbouring countries as one of the most important and urgent aspects of developments in Afghanistan.
The meeting came the same day that Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China is ready to deepen “friendly and cooperative” relations with Taliban’s Afghanistan.
An Iranian official said on Sunday the country has prepared accommodation in three provinces bordering Afghanistan to provide temporary refuge to Afghans fleeing the conflict in their country.
Dozens of Afghans in Tehran demonstrated in front of the UN office the same day, chanting slogans in defiance of the Taliban. Video showed another demonstration in the city of Qom on Monday.
Iran’s foreign ministry announced on Sunday that it had reduced its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, only leaving a few staff at its embassy in Kabul.