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Why is Iran inviting representatives of the Taliban?

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A delegation of the representative of the political wing of the Taliban fundamentalist movement, arrived in Tehran to hold talks with senior Iranian officials. What are the objectives of the visit?

“The talks to be held during the Taliban delegation’s stay in Iran will take place with senior officials of the country, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and the Iranian Special Representative for Afghan Affairs, MohammadEbrahim Taherian,” as stated by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hatibzade said.

The meeting is held at Iran’s initiative and invitation. The representative for Afghan affairs had held talks with colleagues from Russia and Germany, as well as with a special envoy from the UN.

According to Hatibzade, the main purpose of the Taliban delegation’s visit is to discuss all the different specters and problems of the peace process in Afghanistan and ways to achieve lasting peace.

“Iran has invested too much in the peace process in Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic has been continuously hosting Afghan refugees for many years. We hope that the conditions will finally be created so that we can witness stability in Afghanistan, complete peace and tranquility, when all Afghans will be able to live in peace regardless of their ethnicity, religion and race,” said the spokesman. 

Hatibzade also explained that although the Biden administration intends to review the Trump Administration agreement signed in February 2020 with the Taliban in Doha, this will have no effect on Tehran’s official position. 

“Iran’s position has never been based on what happens in Washington. We believe that the inter-Afghan dialogue is the only peaceful and reliable solution to [the problems] in Afghanistan. So we are convinced that Afghanistan, which is the result of years struggle, must be preserved [as an independent and sovereign state], and absolutely all Afghan ethnic groups must have a role to play in building the future of the country. This is the only way to stability and peace,” he stressed.

In his view, the United States has no choice but to end its years of intervention and aggression in the region, including Afghanistan, and carry out a responsible withdrawal of troops.

Afghanistan is experiencing a situation of instability due to the attacks launched by the Taliban and, since 2015, the terrorist group ISIS (calling itself the Islamic State), despite the strong military presence of the US and its allies.

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