Iran Hosts the Afghanistan conference with six other countries mostly from East Asian bloc. Tehran aims to play its part in regional stability following US withdrawal.
Iran has succeeded in gathering top figures from Afghanistan’s vicinity in Tehran for an Afghanistan conferenceto examine the circumstances of the Taliban rule. Officials at the ministerial level from Iran, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan convened in Iran on Wednesday. Foreign ministers of China and Russia also joined the group through a video connection.
Afghanistan conference started by a speech by Iranian president’s delegate, Mohammad Mokhber, on Wednesday morning. Ebrahim Raisi, according to his office, was busy on another essential subject. The failure of US strategies and conducts in Afghanistan, according to Mokhber, doesn’t suggest that US would quit its damaging policies in the area.
Iranian First Vice President described ISIS as “US proxy force in the region”. He also emphasized that the terrorist group turned its attention to Afghanistan in order to incite a new bloody conflict.
Following Mokhber was United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who stated in a live connection address that Afghanistan is suffering a “epic humanitarian crisis” that requires prompt attention. He added the UN is working with the Taliban group, who have so far allowed the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
UN Secretary-General also expressed his concern over human rights breaches and assaults in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s grip on power. Guterres asked for further measures to fight extremism and opium smuggling.
Before starting the secret talks to reach consensus on final statement, foreign ministers all participant countries gave a public speech. They all expressed their enthusiasm for Afghanistan conferenceand emphasized the importance of ongoing collaboration among neighboring nations in order to a catastrophe or civil war.
Afghanistan Conference and the Role of Tehran
Iran’s position regarding the developments in Afghanistan remained the same even after the Taliban takeover. Tehran has always stressed on an inclusive administration containing all societal and political parties.
Tehran lambasted Taliban’s violent attack on opposition forces in the Panjshir Valley days after the collapse of the capital. Recent fatal blasts across the country also received Iran’s sharp criticism for Taliban’s defective security management. ISIS in Khorasan has claimed the deadly attacks.
Iran’s foreign minister stated during his speech at the Afghanistan conference that Afghanistan is still remarkably distant from achieving a political situation that would receive the open arms of all Afghan groups. Hossein Amirabdollahian stressed on the necessity of Afghan independence and avoiding foreign intervention in local decision-making process. “The timing of officially recognizing the new governance situation in Afghanistan depends on how fast an inclusive government is formed in the country,” he further noted.
Iran conducted Afghan-Afghan discussions earlier in 2021 prior to the departure of US troops from Afghanistan. The talks included the Taliban as one active party. Tehran has stated that it maintains ongoing interaction with all Afghan groups. A Taliban trade authority recently stated that the organization wants to purchase oil from Iran and expects that the request will be granted to ease Afghanistan’s fuel deficit.
A potential oil trade between Iran and Afghanistan truly indicates the new geopolitical peculiarities of the region following US withdrawal. Iran, under strict US sanctions for oil sale, finds a new client to whom it could endow credibility in return.
Iran’s initiative to run the Afghanistan conference in Tehran is an attempt to turn the haphazard developments in Afghanistan into a chance to boost its political and social interests. Russia, China, and East bloc will be the hands en route.