In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Mohsen Pakaeen, referring to Iran’s active role in mediating between groups in Afghanistan to prevent the escalation of the crisis in the country, said: In separate telephone conversations with Mr Ashraf Ghani and Mr Abdullah Abdullah, our Foreign Minister, Dr. (Mohammad Javad) Zarif, announced Iran’s readiness to work for a “humanitarian ceasefire” and to resolve the differences between Afghan officials. Iran’s responsible action was welcomed by the parties involved in Afghanistan.

He added: “Iran believes that focusing on political structures based on the Afghan constitution can bring national peace and reconciliation to the country. Naturally, the peace process will be successful with the participation of all Afghan political groups and within the framework of that country’s constitution.

Afghan Government, People Trust Iran

The former diplomat said that Iran has been closely following developments in Afghanistan in recent years and has played a key role in establishing peace and stability in times of need as a neutral mediator. “The Afghan government and people trust the Islamic Republic and for the same reason Tehran can play a constructive role in the recent crisis.”

He stressed: “I believe that the challenge created in Afghanistan was due to the reliance of certain high-ranking officials of the country on the United States. The United States has already been tested in Afghanistan, and a list of widespread crimes with human rights abuses has been the White House’s achievement in Afghanistan. The United States also played a key role in creating the recent challenge.

“The United States turned its back on those who trusted it and held negotiations with the Taliban without the presence of the legitimate government of Afghanistan,” Pakaeen said. The talks also challenged the Afghan election, eventually leading to the formation of two governments.

Iran Believes in Peace & Stability in Afghanistan

“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes in the establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan and had active participation in the Bonn-1 and Bonn-2 conferences on Afghanistan, where I was present, to ensure the interests of the Afghan people and to prevent the realization of US and NATO goals. Even today, it seems that the mediation efforts of Afghanistan’s friendly countries in the region, especially Iran, can safeguard the rights of the Muslim and civilized people of Afghanistan.

Pakaeen said that Iran should be the focus of consultations in Afghanistan to find a regional solution to the crisis. Today the political dispute between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani over the result of the elections and formation of the government has worried the Afghan people. Iran, meantime, has close ties with countries in the region, including Pakistan, Russia and China. Also, Iran’s good relations with the Afghan Mujahideen are an open secret, and there have been some contacts with the Taliban recently.

He added that given these capacities, Iran could be the focus of negotiations to resolve the Afghan challenge. With the continued contacts of Iranian officials, especially the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs with the influential officials of the region, we can hope for positive results in the establishment of security and peace in Afghanistan. Naturally, the Afghan government and people, who are aware of Iran’s goodwill, will support and be happy with these responsible actions.