Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Monday the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to take advantage of Afghan peace talks to win the forthcoming presidential election and to make up for its political failures across the world.
"The US administration, which has failed in its policies in the region and across the world and has achieved no success, [now] seeks to take advantage of the peace talks in Afghanistan for election purposes," Rouhani told the visiting head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), Abdullah Abdullah, in Tehran.
The president added that interference and presence of the United States, as an aggressive country, in Afghanistan have not been in line with the Afghan people's demands.
He voiced Iran’s support for peace, stability and security in Afghanistan, hoping that the Afghan people would “achieve real peace after years of war”.
"It is important that people of this country attain real peace to safeguard their achievements after years of war and conflict," Rouhani said, noting, "Political talks and intra-Afghan negotiations are the solution to this problem."
Long-delayed direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban militant group began in the Qatari capital city of Doha on September 12 to end decades of conflict that have killed tens of thousands of people.
The intra-Afghan talks were set to take place in March but have repeatedly been delayed over a prisoner exchange agreement made as part of the United States-Taliban deal signed in February.
Under the deal with the US, the Taliban agreed to stop their attacks on foreign forces in return for the US military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and prisoner swap with the government.
The Afghan government was a party neither to the negotiations nor to the deal, but it has been acting in accordance with its terms, including by agreeing to free the Taliban prisoners.
Trump made the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan a promise before the 2016 presidential election. In the countdown to the November presidential election, Washington has ramped up pressure to start intra-Afghan negotiations.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani pointed to a major railroad between Iran and Afghanistan that will be opened in the coming days.
He said the Khaf-Herat railway would strengthen economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
Rouhani also said Iran is ready to connect its gas and oil products pipelines to Afghanistan to enable it neighbor to use such energies.
For his part, Abdullah commended Iran's support for his country and its efforts to contribute to the establishment of sustainable peace and security in Afghanistan and said Tehran is a good friend and neighbor for Kabul.
The HCNR chief said he had “good meetings” in Tehran and will take the message of Iranian support to Kabul.
US destructive policies
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani also met with Abdullah on Monday. Shamkhani told him that the US pursues a policy of fomenting chaos and insecurity in Afghanistan.
“The US policy is based upon creating chaos and insecurity, no matter where it is pursued, in Afghanistan or in Iraq,” Shamkhani said.
He said Washington’s destructive policies in the West Asia region have brought about nothing but wars, devastation and underdevelopment.
Shamkhani called for intra-Afghan talks in order to establish sustainable security in Afghanistan
“The US has always sought to undermine the main components of stability in Afghanistan in order to continue its presence and drag out insecurity,” he said .
Abdullah, for his part, expressed gratitude to Iran for supporting Afghanistan, saying promotion of ties with Tehran is a main priority in Kabul’s foreign policy agenda.
Washington invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban-run government in 2001 on the pretext of fighting terrorism following the September 11 attacks in New York.
Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since the US and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001. Many parts of the country remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.
American forces have since remained bogged down in Afghanistan through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now, Trump.
About 2,400 US soldiers have been killed, along with unknown numbers of Afghan troops and Taliban militants. More than 100,000 Afghans have been killed or injured since 2009 when the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan began documenting casualties.
Press TV and Tasnim contributed to this story.