The head of the Iranian delegation to the 136th assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has dismissed as “surprising and ridiculous” the allegation that the Islamic Republic has links with Taliban and is supporting the militant group.
“Today, the representative of Afghanistan’s delegation [to the IPU assembly] raised a baseless claim about support by Iran for Taliban. This allegation is made while Iran is one of the main victims of Taliban,” Gholam Ali Jafarzadeh Imenabadi said in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka on Monday while pointing to the massacre of 11 Iranians, including nine diplomats, in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif by the Taliban in 1998.
He added that Iran was the first country that warned the international community about the adverse consequences of the emergence the Taliban militant group.
“Iran has paid a heavy material and non-material price due to the crisis in Afghanistan,” the legislator said.
Taliban militants were removed from power following the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan, but they have stepped up activities in recent months, attempting to overrun several provinces.
Thousands of foreign troops are still in Afghanistan, but apparently maintaining security remains an issue amid almost frequent incidents of violence across the country.
Imenabadi noted that the Afghan representative had made the groundless allegation while ignoring the glaring reality of Iran hosting millions of Afghan refugees in over three decades, emphasizing that such moves would neither help Kabul resolve its issue nor serve its interests.
He reiterated that Iran was among the countries that played an important role in reconstructing and assisting Afghanistan with its development process.
He recommended members of the Afghan delegation to avoid making “irrational and destructive” comments and being swayed by ill-wishers.