Farzad Ramezani told the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations that ties between Iran and Afghanistan should be studied within the framework of a civilizational link between the two countries.

He said the two countries have been enjoying commonalities in the past thousand years in various areas of language, civilization, religion, ethics and culture.

“This has made the officials and people of the two countries extremely sensitive towards mutual relations and heightened expectations from such cooperation. Therefore, sometimes there are criticisms and expectations which are pursued with more severity.”

Referring to the dimensions of relations between Iran and Afghanistan in various areas, he said that bilateral trade between the two countries has been affected by the spread of Covid-19 while it remains at a good level.

Ramezani pointed to continued consultations between the two countries on the establishment of peace in Afghanistan and Iran’s positive role in realizing peace and Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hamdollah Moheb visit to Iran, he said joint diplomatic consultations are underway between Iran and Afghanistan with the objective of providing stability in Afghanistan.

“In the political front, consultations are held in the path of the formation of intra-Afghani talks with the goal of stabilizing the future of Afghanistan. It is also important to resolve water and border disputes and the illegal entry and presence of Afghan nationals in Iran.”

Emphasizing the importance and necessity of attention to the expansion and deepening of political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries, he said such cooperation could guarantee shared interests and sustainable stability in Afghanistan.

Ramezani said both the main wings in the national unity government of Afghanistan have proper views on the continuation of dialog and depending of links with Tehran.

“Even though intra-Afghanis talks between the incumbent government in Kabul and the Taliban are continuing, and would resume next month, leaders of resistance in Afghanistan are much interested in attracting the support of Iran for the trend of talks and the future of peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

Referring to some efforts to create impediments between the two countries and portray a tarnished image of bilateral relations, he said some of the regional and international players are seeking to heighten criticisms and promote Iranophobia inside Afghanistan.

“In addition, people of Afghanistan may adopt any approach to relations with Iran according to the many differences and gaps they face in many religious, political, cultural and ethnic areas inside Afghanistan.”

Ramezani said such criticisms and expectation should not influence and damage bilateral relations but should be exploited to identify weaknesses in the relations between Iran and Afghanistan so that both countries could remove challenges and problems in a realistic way and enhance economic, political, security and cultural relations between the two countries.