Jul 12, 2021, 11:05 AM
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Details of Tehran initiative for Afghan peace

Tehran, IRNA – Deputy foreign minister for South Asia affairs Rasoul Mousavi in an article published in "Iran" Newspaper has elaborated on the details of Tehran initiative for establishing peace in Afghanistan.

He wrote: "The Afghan delegation headed by Yunus Qanuni, former foreign minister of Afghanistan and Taliban's delegation headed by deputy head of Taliban's political office Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai sat at negotiating table in Tehran on July 7 and started intra-Afghan peace talks.

The meeting started with a speech by the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Then Afghan participants continued talks in the absence of the Iranian side.

Since both sides were interested in negotiations, the meeting continued until July 8 when they reached conclusion and released a six-article statement.

Due to the fact that the intra-Afghan talks were held behind closed doors, it is not possible to write exactly about the details of what they said but by analyzing the content of the final statement, we can infer on the issues raised in the event.

Tehran initiative for Afghan peace talks dates back to the visit of the Afghanistan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar to Iran five years ago.

Atmar who is now the foreign minister of Afghanistan met with Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani and Mohammad Javad Zarif and expressed his country's interest in Iran playing role for peace talks with Taliban.

After Atmar trip, Tehran tried to encourage Taliban to negotiate with Afghan government which resulted in Taliban agreeing to start negotiations with Afghan government.

The issue was raised by Shamkhani during his meeting with his new Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib in Kabul.

Afghan officials welcomed Shamkhani and vowed to give their official response to Tehran initiative.

Unfortunately, due to US’ opposition, their response was not conveyed to Iran at that time.  

If we take a look at Afghan media behavior at that time, we will unfortunately face the bitter reality that instead of supporting Tehran's initiative for peace talks, they made baseless allegations against Iran and turned a blind eye to the truth.

They interpreted Iran's role in the peace talks between the Taliban and the government as supporting Taliban.

US as leader of occupiers embarked on a new strategy in Afghanistan when it found no choice by defeat.

During Doha agreement with Taliban, the United States pledged to conclude inter-Afghan talks in return for releasing Taliban prisoners.  

What happened was the US's overnight flee from Afghanistan and forgetting commitments, the most important of which is to pave the way for the future of Afghanistan's political system based on the results of intra-Afghan talks.

While the US was trying to justify its military failure by managing Doha peace process, Moscow format (1 + 3 process), and the UN 2+6 initiative emerged.

Russian initiative lacked content and idea and just focused on the structure. It has only verified what was decided in Doha.

Recently, the UN Secretary General tried to revive his initiative to define a new role for the UN in the Afghan peace process, but due to the lack of US and Russia support for the UN role in the peace process, he failed.

Istanbul initiative was the last attempt to establish peace in Afghanistan but since it was similar to that of Doha, it mt the same fate.

Tehran Initiative believes that peace belongs to Afghan people and that intra-Afghan talks is the only way for maintaining peace in Afghanistan.

The following topics were highlighted in Tehran initiative statement:

War is not the solution and Afghanistan issues should be solved through political channel.

Negotiations were explicit and clear and included all topics

Deciding to continue talks after consulting with higher levels on how to move from war to peace, the of the political-military future and the mechanism for establishing a new political system accepting the Tehran meeting as a new process to reinforce peace

Condemning attacks on houses, hospitals, schools, etc

Appreciating Iran for this initiative

 Focusing on the aforementioned principles and comparing them with content of the previous initiatives indicate that Tehran meeting was the first real meeting of representatives of people and ethnic groups who determine the future of Afghanistan.

Both sides agreed that Afghanistan has no military solution and that a solution to the Afghan problem should be solved through negotiation and a political solution. Explicit condemnation of attacking civilians and public installations. Accepting Tehran initiative as a permanent process to establish peace.

For the first time, Taliban agreed to negotiate on ending war, the future of the political system and how to establish a new political system.


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