Iranian policy in Afghanistan a mix of subversion and diplomacy
Among other things, it dealt with the struggle against extremist organizations and solving regional conflicts. Political and defense bodies from Asia and Europe attended the conference, alongside Iranian senior officials, including Hassan Firouzabadi, former Iranian chief of staff; Ahmad Vahidi, defense minister in the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former commanding officer of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards; and Ali Shamkhani, representative, leader and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.
The participants discussed the solution to regional conflicts and primarily “ways to put an end to the intervention of the United States and Israel in the region.”
During the discussions on Afghanistan, Shamkhani confirmed that he had met with representatives of the Taliban in that country at the end of December 2018 in an attempt to advance peace talks there. However, he dismissed the possibility that Iran was holding contacts with the jihadi organizations, Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS.1 He even expressed concern about the entrenchment of ISIS in Afghanistan and warned against a similar scenario in Syria and Iraq.
Iran is concerned by the contacts held in the middle of December in Abu Dhabi between the United States and the Taliban, attended by representatives from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (where the Taliban leaders have found refuge and a base for their activities in Afghanistan). Contacts were advanced between the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban. Meanwhile, another round of U.S.-Taliban talks, scheduled to be held in Doha on Jan. 9-10 have been postponed indefinitely. Khalilzad will lead an inter-agency delegation to India, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan from Jan. 8-21.
Read More: Cleveland Jewish News
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