Tehran | Iran “strongly” condemned, today, Monday, the Taliban attack on the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, the last stronghold of the resistance of the fundamentalist Islamic movement in Afghanistan, which it claims has taken control of “completely”.
The Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran, which shares a border of more than 900 km with Afghanistan, has so far refrained from criticizing the Sunni Taliban movement since it took power in Kabul on August 15.
“The news from Panjshir is really worrying. “The attack (…) is strongly condemned,” said Iranian diplomatic spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh during a press conference in Tehran.
“With regard to the Panjshir issue, I insisted that it should be resolved through dialogue and in the presence of all traditional Afghan leaders,” he added.
On Monday, the Taliban announced that they had taken full control of the inaccessible Panjshir Valley, 80 kilometers north of Kabul. This region was the last outpost of the armed opposition to the Taliban, who seized power on August 15 after a lightning military campaign and secured the departure of the last foreign forces two weeks later.
The Iranian spokesman added, “The Taliban must also respect its obligations under international law, and its obligations,” stressing that “Iran is doing its best to end the suffering of the Afghan people and promote the formation of a” single government that represents all Afghans.”
Referring to Pakistan, Mr. Khatibzadeh also said he condemned “any foreign interference” in Afghan affairs. “We would like to inform our friends, and those who might make the strategic mistake of entering Afghanistan with different intentions, that Afghanistan is not a country that accepts the enemy (or) the aggressor” on its soil.
The government that was toppled by the Taliban in Kabul has repeatedly accused Pakistan, the common neighbor of Iran and Afghanistan, of supporting the Afghan Islamic movement.
Iran maintained conflicting relations with the Taliban during their rule of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (1996-2001), which it never recognized. However, Tehran appeared to be drawing a rapprochement with the Taliban in recent months.
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