Jan 11, 2022, 9:35 AM
Journalist ID: 1842
News Code: 84609197
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Why have Kabul leaders chosen Tehran for 3rd diplomatic trip?

Tehran, IRNA - In addition to cultural commonalities and geographical proximity, Afghanistan and Iran are facing US-led sanctions and freeze of their assets, which pave the ground for broader cooperation between the two neighboring states.

A 26 strong economic and political delegation led by Taliban's Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi arrived in Tehran on Saturday.

The Taliban FM emphasized that his discussions with Iranian authorities on trade, economy, security, and transit of commodities have been "positive."

The Islamic Republic of Iran has played a key role in supporting Afghan people in recent decades, especially following the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Iran has sheltered more than three million Afghan refugees so far.

Amid the Afghan delegation's trip to Tehran, certain media outlets' speculation was that the Islamic Republic may hand over Afghanistan's embassy in Tehran to the Taliban, but Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh noted that the diplomatic activities of Afghanistan’s embassy, similar to all foreign embassies, lie within the framework of the principles and rules of the 1961 Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations and no changes are possible outside that framework.

Aside from potential agreements between the two sides during the visit, observers pay attention to the reasons behind the fact that Taliban politicians have chosen Iran as their third destination after Pakistan and Qatar.

Iran, a friend in Afghans' hard time
Iranians have proven good neighborliness, when the Afghan people have been suffering from terrorist attacks, economic woes, and foreign invasion.

Despite the fact that Iran itself was facing West-imposed embargo and economic hardships in recent years, the Islamic Republic stood with the neighboring state and continued providing Afghanistan with humanitarian aids.

The Iranian authorities have attached great importance to Afghanistan and called for formation of government in the neighboring country, which represents Afghan people and their political will. 

Tehran has also hosted a seminar to help Afghanistan get rid of political crisis via diplomatic efforts.

Following Taliban's dominance in Afghanistan in 2021, Iranians played an active role to help maintain peace and stability in the neighboring country, participating in the second meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighboring states which was also attended by officials from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, China, and Russia as well as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Moscow nearly two months ago. These officials urged Taliban to comply with expectations from international community and the Afghan people.

US invasion root cause of crisis in Afghanistan
The United States' erosive war in Afghanistan and freeze of Afghan's assets have led the war-ridden country towards neighboring states and non-Western powers.

Following 20 years of invasion and the US's messy pullout from Afghanistan in 2021, the Afghan people are grappling with economic problems. The United Nations Development Program has warned that economic aftermath of Afghanistan's banking system collapse will be widespread. 

Iran has reiterated that the Islamic Republic is concerned about the situation of the Afghan people. 

Khatibzadeh noted that the Taliban delegation's visit to Tehran has been a good ground for discussing expansion of cooperation particularly in people-oriented economic ties.


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