Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the US and certain regional countries oppose cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan.
“Of course, the Americans and some countries in the region are not familiar with Afghanistan’s potentialities and do not favor empathy and cooperation between the two countries, but Iran regards security and progress of its neighbor, Afghanistan, as its own security and progress,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with the visiting Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, in Tehran on Sunday.
The Leader also stressed the importance of determination by Tehran and Kabul to strengthen cooperation.
Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to great cultural and historical commonalities between the two neighboring countries, saying Afghanistan's rich human, cultural and natural resources should serve Iran-Afghanistan cooperation.
The Leader added that Iran has made great achievements in different fields of science, technology, culture and diplomacy, which can help improve Tehran-Kabul cooperation.
Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized Iran-Afghanistan issues like “immigrants, water, transportation and security” can be settled, noting that both sides should show seriousness and set a timetable for that purpose.
The Leader said hundreds of thousands of Afghan immigrants are enjoying education facilities in Iran.
Ayatollah Khamenei further expressed hope that the Afghan people and government would succeed in making more achievements day by day.
During the meeting, which was also attended by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, Ghani said his country aims to become a connection hub in the region.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (R) receives Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (C) in Tehran on April 19, 2015 in the presence of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
The Afghan president added that Iran and Afghanistan are faced with common threats and similar opportunities, saying his country’s political will is based on further expansion of mutual ties.
He praised Iran’s efforts in combating drug trafficking and expressed Afghanistan’s readiness to uproot this phenomenon in cooperation with Iran.
The Afghan president arrived in Tehran on Sunday at the head of a high-ranking delegation on a two-day visit, the first since taking office in September. He held a meeting and a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart earlier in the day.