Iran claims Taliban is part of Afghanistan’s ‘reality’

Iran says the Taliban is part of Afghanistan’s present and future reality as the group is involved in direct negotiations with the country’s government of the country.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, Saeed Khatibzadeh, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry stated that the government of Iran not only has a close relation with Afghanistan but that it is “probably one of two countries that has always supported the achievements of both the people and the government of Afghanistan.”

Referring to the Taliban delegation’s visit to Tehran, Khatibzadeh said “the Taliban is part of the present and future reality of Afghanistan, not all of it.”

“Taliban’s political office is in Qatar and the group officially operates in Pakistan and some other countries. The group is involved in direct negotiations with the government of Afghanistan.”

He stressed that Kabul was informed about the Taliban’s visit to Tehran and “also viewpoints were exchanged around that.”

دولت ایران با جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان نه تنها رابطه بسیار نزدیکی دارد بلکه شاید یکی از دو کشوری باشیم که برخلاف بسیاری از کشورها، همواره از دستاوردهای ملت و دولت افغانستان حمایت کرده‌ایم. طالبان بخشی از واقعیت اکنون و آینده افغانستان است و نه همه آن.

— 🇮🇷 وزارت امور خارجه (@IRIMFA) February 1, 2021

“The visit was part of the ongoing talks between the Afghan government and the group,” Khatibzadeh stated.

This comes as a Taliban delegation, led by the deputy head of the group’s political office Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday in Tehran.

In a statement after the meeting, Zarif called for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

“Political decisions could not be made in a vacuum, and the formation of an all-inclusive government must take place in a participatory process and by taking into account the fundamental structures, institutions, and laws, such as the Constitution,” Zarif said.

Zarif also expressed Iran’s readiness to facilitate dialogue among the Taliban, the Afghan government, and other Afghan groups.

“The noble people of Afghanistan have been wronged. The war and occupation of Afghanistan have dealt heavy blows to the Afghan people,” he added,

“The senior Iranian diplomat further expressed hope that the Taliban would focus efforts on an immediate end to the pains and problems of Afghan people so that the establishment of peace in Afghanistan would strip the outsiders of a pretext for occupation,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.