04/26/2022, 14.36
AFGHANISTAN – IRAN
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Taliban delegation in Tehran to reduce border tensions

The main border crossing between Iran and Afghanistan shut down for a day. After recent anti-Shia attacks, Iran wants to lead the fight against Islamic State terrorism. Diplomatic efforts are also underway to solve the situation of Afghan refugees in Iran.

 

Kabul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A Taliban delegation will travel to Tehran to discuss recent border tensions between the two countries as well as the situation of Afghan refugees in Iran.

This comes after a series of unverified videos were posted online showing Iranian police mistreating Afghan refugees.

On 11 April, protesters attacked the Iranian consulate in Herat, while in Kabul, they chanted anti-Iranian slogans outside the Iranian embassy​​.

At the same time, border tensions continue. On Saturday, the main crossing between the two countries at Islam Qala-Dogarun was closed for a day after a dispute erupted between Afghan forces, who were paving a road, and Iranian border guards, who obstructed the work.

The Taliban seized an Iranian military vehicle they claimed had crossed into Afghanistan. As a result, the two countries put their forces along the border on high alert, but the next day the situation returned to normal.

“We aren’t unconcerned about our borders. The tensions on Saturday were triggered by a misunderstanding,” said Enayatullah Khawarazmi, a spokesman for the Afghan Defence Ministry.

This is the second skirmish between the two countries since the Taliban took power in August last year.

The Iranian government is also very concerned about the security situation in Afghanistan following attacks on a Shia mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif and a Hazara school in Kabul, claimed by the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (IS-K), the local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, yesterday said that the Taliban are unable to protect Afghan citizens, in particular Shias; for this reason, Tehran offered to lead the fight against terrorist groups and IS-K.

Iran President Ebrahim Raisi is quoted as saying that “Iran is ready to cooperate and use all its means to counter the threat of Takfiri terrorism and prevent recurrence of these tragedies.”

The Iranian embassy in Kabul noted that diplomatic efforts to develop a friendly relationship between the two countries will continue after Ramadan.

Although Iran has not yet officially recognised the Taliban regime, it has accepted the appointment of three new Taliban officials at the Afghan embassy in Tehran.

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