Positive signs for Afghanistan – Tehran Times


TEHERAN – After weeks of uncertainty and chaos, positive signals are now coming from Afghanistan. The Taliban have endeavored to allay some countries’ concerns about recent developments in Afghanistan.

Two deadly attacks on Shiite mosques in Kunduz and Kandahar in recent weeks have set alarm bells ringing in Tehran. The first attack targeted Shiite believers in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz in the first week of October. A week later, another attack was targeted at Shiite believers offering Friday prayers, this time in the southern city of Kandahar.

The double attacks took place when the ethno-religious conflicts in Afghanistan had noticeably subsided after the Taliban took over Kabul in August. Hence, the attacks in Iran have raised questions about the motives behind them.

Iran was quick to try to prevent a sectarian crisis in its eastern neighbor. The Kandahar attack made it clear to Iran that there are plans to create instability in Afghanistan by fueling conflict along the sectarian line.

In its statement on the attack in Kandahar, the Iranian Foreign Ministry openly warned of “conspiracies” to sow discord between Shiites and Sunnis in Afghanistan. “The Foreign Ministry also warns of plans by enemies of the Islamic umma to cause divisions and stresses the need for unity and solidarity among Shiites and Sunnis and the rejection of violence and extremism in the name of Islam,” the statement said. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is confident that our Muslim brothers and sisters in Afghanistan are thwarting the divisive plans of their enemies through solidarity, collective thinking, and collective efforts.”

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has made extensive diplomatic efforts to prevent Afghanistan from being drawn into a sectarian conflict. He called his Turkish and Indonesian counterparts as well as the Secretary General of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation Yousef Al-Othaimeen.

Abdollahian told al-Othaimeen that the aim of these acts of terrorism was to create sectarian division in Afghanistan and called for “a more active role for the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, especially its Secretary General, in Afghanistan”.

Meanwhile, several high-ranking Iranian officials, including Islamic Revolution leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, have put the spotlight on enemies in an attempt to destabilize Afghanistan by creating sectarian conflict.

In his most recent speech on the birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Imam Sadiq (PBUH), Ayatollah Khamenei said the United States played a role in the attacks on Afghan Shiites.

“The next example is the tragic events that occurred on the last two Fridays in Afghanistan when they blew up a mosque with the Muslims in it while they were praying. Who blew it up? DAESH [ISIS]. Who are the DAESH? The DAESH is the same group that the Americans – the Democrats in the United States – have made it clear, “We created them.” Of course, they don’t acknowledge that at this point in time. You deny it now, ”he said.

The speech was delivered during a celebration known as Unity Week, which values ​​the similarities between Shiite and Sunni sects of Islam. During the speech, the Führer underlined the need to strengthen unity among Muslims, a strategic principle.

Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks were welcomed by the Taliban and indicated that relations between Tehran and Kabul are moving towards improvement.

“The Islamic Emirate welcomes the statements of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, who called for greater unity between Sunnis and Shiites in Afghanistan. The Afghan people of all stripes have achieved independence. And they’ll hold it together. We will not allow a conspiracy to affect or threaten the unity of our people and our country, ”said Mohammad Naeem, spokesman for the Taliban Political Bureau, on Twitter.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesman for the Taliban’s foreign ministry, made similar statements. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan welcomes the statements of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in which he urges further unity between Ahl Sunnah and Ahl Tashayyu in Afghanistan. The Afghans gained independence with unity and will also neutralize conspiracies of discord with unity, inshaAllah, ”he tweeted.

These statements came after a meeting between Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan Bahadur Aminian and Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. “During the meeting, Mr. Amininan said that the economic challenge is our common enemy, creating turmoil, and Iran is ready to invest in energy,” noted Balkhi.


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