Zarif Urges Taliban to Engage in Diplomatic Process for Peace in Afghanistan
- April, 17, 2021 - 11:17
- Politics news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the Taliban’s idea of reviving an Islamic emirate in Afghanistan, urging them to engage in an inclusive diplomatic process to achieve “broad-based” peace in that country.
Speaking at a panel discussion session of Raisina Conference on Friday, Zarif elaborated on Iran’s stance on efforts to restore peace to Afghanistan and Tehran’s negotiations with the Taliban over the role the group needs to play in the diplomatic process.
Besides its own national security concerns, Zarif said, Iran held talks with the Taliban to convince the group that “there is a need for a broad-based, inclusive peace in Afghanistan, and that the Taliban should a part of that peace” instead of attempting to “control” the process.
He also ruled out the possibility for the Taliban to implement its plan for reviving the “Islamic Emirate” of the 1990s in Afghanistan, saying that plan is no longer viable since the country has gone through a lot of changes over the past two decades and moved toward a democratic system of government thanks to the efforts of the Kabul government and the Afghan people.
Zarif said the democratic institutions established in Afghanistan following the overthrow of the Taliban rule “must remain in place… and become even more inclusive, with the Taliban abandoning violence and entering a political process.”
The top Iranian diplomat said there is no consensus in Afghanistan over the Taliban’s plan, and that an “emirate” is not a system that post-war Afghanistan could be built upon.
The foreign minister called on all Afghan groups to work together and draw up a “unified peace” plan for the future of their country, according to Press TV.
During the talks, “We pressed upon the Taliban that Iran is prepared to provide any forum for the Taliban and other groups in Afghanistan — particularly the government of Afghanistan — to engage in a serious talk for a movement forward; not threats, not violence, but working for peace within the constitutional framework of Afghanistan,” Zarif noted.
Zarif said Washington’s announcement about the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan “has to be taken in light of the realities of our region that the presence of foreign forces has never contributed to peace and stability in our region. The (withdrawal) will leave, at least, less ground for violence.”
The top Iranian diplomat further advised the Taliban against using the vacuum that could potentially follow the pullout of foreign forces to step up their campaign of violence, saying such a situation would be “disastrous” and would serve as the “recipe for a new war” in Afghanistan.
“I think the Taliban should not use this opportunity to increase violence,” he stated, emphasizing that the Afghan people’s wish for an end to violence should be respected.
The Iranian minister warned that Iran, which hosts some three million Afghan refugees, and the broader will not tolerate more violence in Afghanistan.