Feb 1, 2021, 12:58 PM
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Iranian talks with Taliban were on prior knowledge of Afghan Gov't

Tehran, Feb 1, IRNA – Iranian negotiations with Taliban were held on prior knowledge of Afghan Government, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday.  

Khatibzadeh made the remarks speaking during his weekly press conference.

Noting that Taliban is part of Afghanistan’s reality, the spokesman said that Taliban political offices are officially working in Doha and Pakistan and the group is currently involved in official negotiations with the Afghan government as well.  

Iran has always expressed support for intra-Afghan talks, Khatibzadeh said, adding that the recent visit to Iran by the Taliban delegation was in line with Taliban’s negotiations with the Afghan Government.

Asked to comment on reports which claim that a Taliban call for the resignation of the Afghanistan’s incumbent government has been discussed during the visit of the Taliban group to Tehran, the spokesman said that only news published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are credible.

He said that Foreign Minister Zarif has stressed in the meeting that no government can be formed in the country unless it is based on national resolve and votes of the Afghan people.

Khatibzadeh also touched upon Zarif’s recent tour of the Caucasus, saying the tour was one of the most successful missions of the Iranian foreign minister during his tenure in office.

He said that an agreement on information security was signed with Russia during Zarif’s visit to Moscow.

The spokesman also said that Zarif’s recent tour also focused on regional cooperation, ways to establish peace and permanent stability, bilateral cooperation, and examining Iran’s proposed 3+3 mechanism.

Asked to comment about US probable return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, he said that Iran is waiting for US move to lift the sanctions in an effective way.

“Lifting the sanctions in an effective way means that we have to be able to see the effects of such an action, and a mere signature on the paper is not enough,” Khatibzadeh said.

The US return to JCPOA will not take place automatically, the spokesman said, adding that they withdrew from the deal with a signature but they cannot return with merely another signature.

On the possibility of holding bilateral negotiations between Iran and the US, he said: “We have made it very clear that bilateral negotiations with the United States are not necessary nor will we have such negotiations,”

He noted that there are a few weeks left to a deadline set by the Iranian Parliament and if effective measures are not taken by the other party, the Iranian government will be obliged to take further measures.

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