TEHRAN (Iran News) – The Society of the Qom Seminary Teachers issued a statement on Monday stating that it is following current developments in Afghanistan with due care in line with the interests of Muslims and performing its religious duties.
Below are the main points from the statement issued by the society:
1. The cunning, deception, mischief, aggression, and occupation of the criminal United States and the accompaniment of its allies and affiliated groups and self-serving servants are the root of all the crimes, evils, insecurities, backwardness, problems, and crises of oppressed Afghanistan.
2. The resistance of the brave nation of Afghanistan, after twenty years of occupation, forced the United States to retreat, end the occupation, and leave Afghanistan in disgrace and humiliation. This is a historic defeat and a glorious victory for all the resilient nations of the region and the dear nation of Afghanistan.
3. The United States, which is withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, is seeking to spread extremism behind the scenes, creating sectarian and religious warfare, and creating internal insecurity and instability in Afghanistan. The United States is now trying to thwart efforts to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan by disrupting various inter-Afghan talks, including the Afghan-Afghan talks, and paving the way for its continued presence in Afghanistan through other means and execute its evil against the oppressed Muslim nations, especially the oppressed nation of Afghanistan.
As the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, pointed out in his important message on the occasion of Hajj in the past few days, the people of Afghanistan must be aware of the evil and soft war of the United States and be ready to face this great devil.
4. It is necessary for all parties in Afghanistan to make their decisions based on justice and fairness to the rights of all Afghans and consider the ethnic and religious diversity of this country and the rights of the public, including women, men, children, and youth in these decisions. They shall also note that the public’s happiness lies in the non-interference of foreigners, including the Americans, in their internal negotiations, and that any American interference will bring a dark fate for the oppressed people of Afghanistan.
5. The best path for inter-Afghan negotiations is to put the train of these negotiations on the track of Islamic principles and values and base them on rationality, wisdom, ethics, justice, civilization, expediency, dignity, and fulfillment of the covenant, and its executive guarantee can be the universal constitution of the future of this country.
6. All the people of Afghanistan, the political leaders of this country, and the Taliban must be aware that going to religious war is the new edition of imperialism, international Zionism, and their untouchables, and everyone around must approach the issue strategically in line with Islamic sharia and the sense of responsibility for connection between the Muslims of Afghanistan, and put a joint and united struggle against the takfiri, extremist and divisive currents on the agenda while maintaining peaceful relations with the neighboring countries.
We ask the God Almighty for security, comfort, independence, freedom, lasting peace, progress, justice, dignity, and victory with unity for the Islamic Ummah and the Muslim nation of Afghanistan.
Iran trying to broker peace between warring sides in Afghanistan
Fighting between the Taliban and Afghan government forces has increased over the past two months as foreign troops pull out of the country.
The Taliban is thought to have captured up to half of all territory.
As U.S. forces have withdrawn, the Taliban have made rapid gains, retaking border crossings and rural areas.
The Taliban, who were pushed out of power by the U.S. invasion nearly 20 years ago, have also seized key roads as they seek to cut off supply routes.
According to the BBC, their fighters have been closing in on a number of major cities, but have not yet been able to capture one.
The Afghan government imposed a month-long curfew across almost all of the country on Saturday in a bid to stop the Taliban from invading cities.
The curfew bans all movement from 22:00 to 04:00 (17:30-23:30 GMT), apart from in the capital Kabul and two other provinces.
The Interior Ministry said the new curfew was “to curb violence and limit the Taliban movements”, adding that Kabul, Panjshir, and Nangarhar were exempt.
Facing turmoil in neighboring Afghanistan, Iran has tried to broker peace by getting the warring sides of Afghanistan to sit together at the table and discuss ways to put an end to hostilities.
To this end, Iran hosted a meeting between a Taliban delegation and a group of figures who support the republican system on July 7 and 8. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who led the talks, urged both sides to show courage in making peace.
“Courage in peace is more important than courage in war because peace needs sacrifice and forgiveness, needs ignoring one’s maximal demands, and paying attention to the other side’s demands, especially in these talks where there is no other side, and both sides are brothers seeking peace and calm for the Afghan nation,” Zarif told the Afghan participants.
The Iranian foreign minister added, “What I ask you is that use this opportunity and end the war in Afghanistan as soon as possible, and provide the Afghan people with the chance to develop.”
He also voiced Iran’s readiness to facilitate peace talks. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is always ready to facilitate your talks in any way you prefer,” he pointed out.
The recent talks were the second time Iran officially host a delegation from the Taliban, a group with which Iran has avoided talking given its track record of bad relations with Iran when it was in power. The history of Iran-Taliban relations carries a lot of antagonistic baggage, most notably due to the group’s anti-Shia leanings and its killing of Iranian diplomats in Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998, which brought Iran and the Taliban-led Afghanistan close to an all-out war.