TEHRAN: Iranian and Taliban officials met in Tehran on Wednesday and accused the US of allowing the war in Afghanistan to begin, Iranian State TV announced.
Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani told visiting Taliban political leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar that the US is trying to continue the fight in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Shamkhani was quoted as saying that the US policy encourages the continuity of conflict and bloodshed in the political spectrum between separate Afghan communities. He said the US seeks to blame individual Afghan groups for insecurity and instability in the region.
The US, which signed a peace deal with the Taliban last February and reached its target this month of reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan to around 2,500, did not receive an immediate comment.
Earlier this month, Taliban leaders and the Afghan government resumed peace negotiations in Qatar, the Gulf Arab state where the rebels have an office.
The goal of the stop-and-go talks is to end decades of confrontation. But over a recent increase in crime, anger and anxiety have risen and both sides blame one another.
Baradar, who arrived with a Taliban delegation on Monday, blamed the US for allegedly violating its February contract commitments. He hasn’t elaborated.
“He said, “We do not trust the US and will fight against any party that is a mercenary to the US.
Iranian and Taliban officials sometimes meet for what Tehran claims are talks designed to further promote intra-Afghan dialogue.
Iran sees the presence of US forces on its doorstep in neighbouring Afghanistan and Iraq as a threat and calls routinely for their departure. Iran and Afghanistan have a shared frontier of some 945 kilometres (some 585 miles).