News ID: 316068
Published: 0151 GMT September 06, 2021

Iran strongly condemns Taliban offensive on Panjshir Valley

Iran strongly condemns Taliban offensive on Panjshir Valley

Iran on Monday strongly condemned the Taliban's military offensive against resistance fighters in Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley, as the militant group claimed it had taken control of the area.

"The news coming from Panjshir is truly worrying," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters. "The assault is strongly condemned."

The Taliban on Monday claimed victory in the mountainous Panjshir area, with a spokesman declaring "our country is completely taken out of the quagmire of war", three weeks after the militants captured the capital Kabul.

But the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRFA) – made up of anti-Taliban militia and former Afghan security forces – said its fighters were still present in "strategic positions" across the valley and that they were continuing the struggle, AFP wrote.

"On the question of Panjshir, I have insisted on the fact that it be resolved by dialogue in the presence of all the Afghan elders," Khatibzadeh said.

"The Taliban must equally respect their obligations in terms of international law, and their commitments," he added, affirming that "Iran will work to put an end to all the suffering of the Afghan people in favor of establishing a representative government for all Afghans".

“No one should let this path end in fratricide,” the spokesman asserted. “The Taliban must live up to their commitments. Starving the people of Panjshir and cutting off their water, electricity, etc. is a source of regret.”

Khatibzadeh expressed deep regret over the "martyrdom" of Afghan leaders during the Sunday night attacks, Press TV wrote. "The martyrdom of Afghan leaders is a source of deep regret and sorrow."

Afghanistan's TOLO News reported that Fahim Dashti, a spokesman of the NRFA and a prominent Afghan journalist, was killed in fighting in Panjshir province on Sunday.

The NRFA confirmed the news, saying General Abdul Wudod Zara had also been killed in the latest fighting.

Dashti was a senior member of the Jamiat-e-Islami party and advised resistance leader Ahmad Massoud on the defense of the valley and negotiations with the Taliban.

Khatibzadeh also said Iran condemned "all foreign interference" in Afghan affairs.

"We would like to inform our friends, and those who might make the strategic error of entering Afghanistan with different intentions, that Afghanistan is not a country which accepts the enemy (or) the aggressor" on its soil, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman added.

Iran, which shares a 900-kilometer border with Afghanistan, did not recognize the Taliban during their 1996 to 2001 stint in power.

Already host to nearly 3.5 million Afghans, and fearing a new influx, Tehran has, however, sought to sketch a rapprochement with the Taliban since their lightning seizure of Kabul amid the US withdrawal last month.


Fighting terror

Iran’s foreign minister and the head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation on Sunday discussed the ongoing developments in the war-torn country, stressing the necessity to continue the anti-terror fight.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian talked to Abdullah Abdullah on the phone about the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

During the conversation, both sides stressed the need to fight the ominous phenomenon of terrorism and help establish a broad-based government representing all ethnic and political groups in Afghanistan.

Abdullah also called for Iran’s humanitarian aid for Afghanistan.

The two sides stressed that it is only for the Afghan people to make final decisions on the fate of their country.



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