Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations says the presence of tens of thousands of foreign boots on the Afghan soil serves as a pretext for “terrorist groups” to launch more attacks against the country’s infrastructure.
Addressing a Friday meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in war-torn Afghanistan, Gholam-Hossein Dehqani voiced deep concern over a spike in terror attacks by the Taliban militants and similar groups targeting Afghan civilians and infrastructure.
“The terrorist and extremist groups have used the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan as a pretext to justify and expand their acts of violence and attacks against the country’s human and financial resources,” Dehqani added.
Dehqani also highlighted the deep cultural and historical bonds between Iran and Afghanistan, adding that the Islamic Republic will continue its support for the promotion of peace and stability in the neighboring country.
The Iranian official further emphasized Iran’s significant role in Afghanistan’s reconstruction, and expressed Tehran’s preparedness to enhance its security and economic cooperation with Kabul to help the country overcome its problems.
The comments came as the Taliban militant group has vowed to escalate the attacks on Afghan forces and US-led troops, their bases, diplomatic missions, and vehicle convoys before the foreign forces exit the country at the end of 2014.
Afghanistan has witnessed a surge in militant attacks after Kabul and Washington recently signed the so-called Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and another controversial deal with NATO.
Under the deals, NATO forces are to withdraw from Afghanistan this year, leaving 9,800 US troops behind. The total number of troops in a new NATO-led mission -- including US soldiers -- will be about 12,000 next year. The new mission is tasked with training and assisting Afghanistan's security forces.
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains across the country despite the presence of thousands of US-led troops.