Iran announces readiness to help alleviate humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

Shamkhani says Iran is concerned about Daesh activities in Afghanistan

  1. Politics

November 10, 2021 –

TEHRAN — The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) on Wednesday stressed the need for a concerted effort to form an “inclusive government” in Afghanistan and deal with the humanitarian crisis in the Central Asian country, IRNA reported.

Speaking at the third meeting of the Regional Security Dialogue in New Delhi attended by national security advisers from regional countries, Ali Shamkhani said Iran is ready help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan by providing facilities such as transport of goods through Chabahar port. 

Appreciating India for hosting the Regional Security Dialogue meeting, he noted: “As you know, the first and second meetings were held in the Islamic Republic of Iran and in the second meeting in Tehran, Indian colleagues agreed to host the meeting but were forced to postpone the program for a year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease.”

The secretary of SNSC went on to say that in the Tehran meetings various issues related to Afghanistan were discussed, from countering the threat of terrorism to helping reconstruct the country that suffered great damages by Western countries, most notably the United States. 

“We all agreed that peace, security and prosperity in this country are in the common interest of the countries of the region and those present at this meeting.”  

Shamkhani said: “Holding three meetings by the secretaries of the security councils of Afghanistan’s neighbors before officially acknowledging the defeat and escape of the United States from Afghanistan showed our proper understanding, but the Americans, as always, made a miscalculation and caused disgrace to themselves and the made problems for the people of Afghanistan.” 

“If we ever face a new wave of refugees, we may not be able to accept them due to the unjust sanctions imposed on our people.”

Referring to the consequences of the U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan, the high-ranking official said 20 years ago the U.S. occupied Afghanistan under the pretext of confronting the Taliban and al-Qaeda, fighting terrorism, and making Afghanistan a model and inspiring country. 

Instead of presenting a successful and inspiring model, Shamkhani said, all the components in this crisis-stricken country became more negative than ever.
Terrorism has spread, poverty has increased, drug cultivation and trafficking and migration have multiplied, and many innocent people in Afghanistan have been massacred by American fighters for obscure reasons, even at weddings and funerals, the Iranian security chief lamented.

The SNSC chief stated that nation-building in Afghanistan failed and that even the U.S. was “more unsuccessful” in its most basic mission, which was forming an effective army and security system in the country. 

“The whole world saw how the U.S. military-based military and security system collapsed like the United States itself, and finally the United States was forced to flee the country with a disgraceful defeat, and inflicted great damage on this country, especially the massacre of thousands of Afghan women, men and children, which is a lesson for everyone that instead of relying on their own resources, they seek to survive by resorting to weak powers such as the United States, and today Afghanistan is left with a mountain of problems, which solving them is the duty of all of us.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Shamkhani said Iran has always emphasized that peace is the “common will” of the people and tribes of Afghanistan, but the important point that everyone should pay attention to is that the United States has been deceitful even in the matter of peace in Afghanistan. 

Despite pretending to make peace in Afghanistan, it had no plans to do so, and the only goal of this country was to get rid of the “self-made swamp” which caused trouble for Afghanistan, the region and the world due to its arrogant temperament, he remarked.

The senior security official said it was due to this reason that whatever proposal the United States made under the name of peace and dialogue in Afghanistan, Iran did not participate because “we knew that the U.S. peace-making theater was just a cover to get rid of its own-made swamp.”

“On the contrary,” Shamkhani stressed, “Iran tried to cooperate with actors inside and outside Afghanistan for planning that really benefit Afghanistan’s nation and all neighboring countries and the region, and that is to create lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan that serves the common interests of all countries of the region.”

At present, Tehran’s emphasis is on formats that can, in fact, benefit the people of Afghanistan, and therefore Iran emphasizes that the United Nations should be the focus of consultation and assistance to Afghanistan, the official pointed out.

“What should be highlighted now is the acceptance of responsibility by the United States and its allies regarding the 20 years of occupation of Afghanistan. Paying compensations for the lives and financial damage to the people of Afghanistan is the minimum duty of the occupiers. As we all know, many of these sufferings are irreparable.” 

The high-ranking official went on to say that it is not possible to compensate for the lost lives or the damage done to the human beings or to restore the lost time to build a nation and a state, but on the contrary, all are witnessing that the United States in an arrogant act has prohibited the access of the people of Afghanistan to their property.

Shamkhani was indirectly referring to the freezing of Afghan assets by the United States.

The senior security official went on to say that Iran in its “sympathetic and friendly recommendations” to all parties in Afghanistan has underscores that the only way to save Afghanistan is to form an inclusive national government with the participation of all ethnic groups and in such a situation Tehran will spare no effort for the benefit of the government and people of Afghanistan.

Shamkhani, a former defense minister and IRGC Navy chief, also warned about the terrorist activities of Daesh (ISIS) in Afghanistan. 

“Today, we are facing a threat in Afghanistan which we believe could be part of the plots hatched by occupiers to achieve their objectives,” Shamkhani said. “This threat emanates from the presence and expansion of Daesh and other Takfiri terrorist groups. The menace of sectarian conflict also looms large in Afghanistan. These threats would create problems for all of us, regardless of being a neighbor or non-neighbor to Afghanistan.”

The high-ranking official noted: “Within this context, we have three major concerns and we need your cooperation as to how to address these concerns. Our first concern is the involvement of some countries in relocating Takfiri elements from elsewhere into Afghanistan. It had been going on in the past and the intelligence gathered by intelligence agencies indicates it is still continuing and this simply adds to our concerns.”  

The secretary of the Supreme National Security Council assessed the rise of poverty and deterioration of humanitarian crisis as the second source of concern for Iran, warning that this is a very important and yet a very dangerous issue. 

On one hand, from the humanitarian perspective, it is “incumbent on us all” to come up with certain policies to mitigate this poverty in order to alleviate the sufferings of Afghan people. 

On the other hand, he warned, if this issue is not properly addressed, it will provide an excuse for terrorist groups to recruit fighters and that by itself will further destabilize the country. 

He added: “Because for people who cannot afford for their very basic needs, financial offers made by terrorist groups would be very tempting. In such a scenario, the Afghan people and all regional countries, particularly neighboring countries, would have to pay a high cost. We should also not forget that financing terrorism per se is an important issue.”

Shamkhani pointed to Iran’s third concern and noted this is the crisis of Afghan refugees and migration from the country. 

He went on to say that it is necessary to provide safe accommodation accompanied with welfare for Afghan people inside their own country, adding Iran has been hosting more than three million Afghan refugees for many years. 

94 percent of these refugees live and work like other Iranian citizens in different parts of the country and only 6 percent of these refugees live in camps, he stated. 

It is pertinent to mention that unfortunately 96 percent of the relevant costs and expenses for these refugees have been funded by Iran and only four percent have been paid by relevant international organizations, he lamented.

“Therefore, if God forbidden, we ever face a new wave of refugees, although against our will, we may not be able to accept them due to the unjust sanctions imposed on our people. If other countries and responsible international organizations do not assist us, we won’t be able to discharge this responsibility alone and wittingly or unwittingly all the countries, particularly Western countries, would be adversely impacted by these refugees.”

At the end, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council pointed to some important issues which demand attention and all countries have to address them through close consultations:

1-    Countries which have brought about the current situation in Afghanistan should accept their responsibility for today’s ills in this country.

2-    An all-out effort to be made for the formation of an inclusive government consisting of all ethnic groups in Afghanistan

3-    Assisting Afghan people to resolve their problems and avert a humanitarian crisis in the country. The Islamic Republic of Iran stands prepared to offer all its capabilities, including its roads and port facilities, especially facilities in Chabahar Port, to this purpose. 

4-    To exert pressure on the United States to release financial resources of the oppressed Afghan people so that these people can benefit from their own money.

5-    To combat terrorism stemming from Daesh and Takfiri groups in Afghanistan. In doing so, the financial channels of these groups need to be identified and cut off. 

6-    To offer assistance to resolve migration crisis and also to assist countries which host Afghan refugees.      

Shamkhani noted that it seems security crises and terrorism, particularly terrorism emanating from Takfiri groups, would not leave the countries of this region alone and the only way to tackle these crises is constant cooperation between regional countries. 

The official on behalf of Iran presented some proposals:

1-    The current forum may expand its working subjects so that it can discuss and address more inclusive issues and if necessary and through consensus of member states, may include some other countries to this forum.

2-    A permanent secretariat needs to be set up to constantly follow the agreements and decision made in the meetings of the forum. The Islamic Republic of Iran stands prepared to establish this secretariat in Tehran through cooperation with other member states. 

3-    In this context, we think it is quite necessary to determine who would host the next meeting. However, if other members are not prepared to host the next meeting, Iran would stand prepared to host the next meeting.


Categories: Afghanistan, Asia, Iran

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