Taliban takeover: Iran condemns the Taliban’s “complete occupation” of the Panjshir Valley.
Tehran: Iran on Monday “strongly condemned” a Taliban military attack against holdout fighters in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, as the Islamist group claimed it had taken control of the region.
“The news coming out of Panjshir is really worrying,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters. “The attack is strongly condemned.”
Iran, the region’s major Muslim Shiite power, has so far refrained from criticizing the Taliban since the Sunni group captured Kabul on 15 August.
The Taliban claimed victory in the mountainous Panjshir area on Monday, with a spokesman declaring that “our country is completely out of the quagmire of war”, three weeks after Islamists captured the capital.
But the National Resistance Front (NRF), made up of anti-Taliban militias and former Afghan security forces, said its fighters were still in a “strategic position” in the Valley, and were continuing to fight.
Khatibzadeh said, “On the question of Panjshir, I have emphasized that it should be resolved through dialogue in the presence of all Afghan elders.
“The Taliban should equally respect their obligations in terms of international law and their commitments,” he said, reaffirming that “Iran favors the establishment of a representative government for all Afghans with all the suffering of the Afghan people.” will work to end it.
Referring to Pakistan, Khatibzadeh said Iran condemns “all foreign interference” in Afghan affairs.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said, “We would like to inform our friends and those who may have made the strategic mistake of entering Afghanistan with different intentions, that Afghanistan is not a country that is hostile to the enemy on its soil.” (or) admits the attacker.”
Iran, which shares a 900-km border with Afghanistan, did not recognize the Taliban during its term in power from 1996 to 2001.
Already hosting some 3.5 million Afghans, and fearing a new influx, Tehran has sought to reconcile with the Taliban since Kabul’s power seizure last month amid a US withdrawal.