Iran says nix pact with US: Afghan Senate
Press TV- Afghanistan’s Senate says Iran’s ambassador to Kabul has urged the upper house of the Afghan parliament not to approve the strategic cooperation agreement with the United States.
Iranian Ambassador Abolfazl Zohrevand reportedly made the call during a meeting with Afghan Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar.
Iran and several other regional countries have expressed concern about the strategic pact, which would extend the US military presence in Afghanistan to 2024.
Shortly after arriving in the war-torn country in an unannounced trip late on the night of May 1, US President Barack Obama met Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and both signed the deal that authorizes the presence of US troops for a period of 10 years after 2014, which was the original date agreed upon for the departure of all foreign combat troops from Afghanistan.
However, the strategic pact must be approved by the Afghan and US legislatures before it can come into force.
Moreover, some Afghan political groups and parties have already expressed their opposition to the agreement, saying it will not bring peace to Afghanistan.
Former Afghan Prime Minister Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai told Press TV on Monday night, “Signing of this strategic plan between Afghanistan and US means directly the prolonged case of the fighting.
“There will be no security after this at all… There were so many Afghan factions, scholars, and university professors [who] were working for the peace, but right now -- after the signing of this agreement… all the peace hopes are gone. There will be no hope for peace… This agreement means that the insecurity and fighting will continue until at least 2024.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Saturday that the pact cannot resolve Afghanistan's security problems, and it will further destabilize the country and increase insecurity.
He went on to say that Tehran believes a complete withdrawal of foreign forces and the closure of their military bases is the only way to solve Afghanistan’s problems and bring peace and security to the country.
US-led troops have been fighting in Afghanistan since 2001. Their initial offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country despite the presence of about 130,000 foreign forces.