Iran has Contacts not Links With Taliban: Envoy

Amid reports of Tehran’s involvement in deteriorating security in western Farah province of Afghanistan, the Iran ambassador in Kabul says his country has no links with the Taliban but have contacts to bring the group to the negotiation table.

Speaking in a special interview with Ariana News on Saturday, the Iranian envoy Mohammad Reza Bahrami said that Iran’s contacts with the Taliban aim to help and support the Afghanistan peace and reconciliation process.

“We have contacts not relations [with the Taliban],” Bahrami said. “It is in our interest to be a contributor in talks between the government of Afghanistan and opposition groups.”

Bahrami, meanwhile, said that his country has not been involved behind the Taliban’s recent attacks in the provincial capital of western Farah province  – bordering  with  Iran-  that left scores killed and injured.  He said any kind of debates in this regard will concern and harm public opinion.

“Personally I don’t accept the concept. This impression is not real and will create concerns to public. This impression and mentality is not documented,” he said.

Referring to Iran’s role in recruiting Afghan nationals to fight in Syria as part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the Iranian envoy said that the Afghans are voluntarily taking part in Syrian war in a bid to defend the holy places in the country.

 “We have not encouraged or guided them, it has been based on their will. We are in Syria based on the request of Syrian government,” Bahrami said. “We have had advisory role there and we are doing this with the agreement of Syrian government.”

The official, meanwhile expressed hope that the Afghan security forces earn that capability to defend their country without the support of international forces.

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