Wrong Policies Fuel Extremism

Wrong Policies Fuel Extremism
Wrong Policies Fuel Extremism

The deputy foreign minister said expansion of extremism in the Middle East is the consequence of inappropriate policies of some regional and non-regional countries.

Ebrahim Rahimpour made the remarks in a meeting with the head and members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Britain’s House of Commons on Thursday, IRNA reported.  Heading a delegation, the deputy foreign minister for Asia and Pacific affairs was in London to participate in an international conference on Afghanistan.

Elaborating on Iran’s stance toward the current situation in Afghanistan, he referred to the power-sharing agreement reached between Afghanistan’s rival presidential candidates and highlighted the importance of the agreement’s full implementation. Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah signed a deal on September 21 to share power after months of turmoil over a disputed election that destabilized the nation. Under the deal, they were named president and chief executive officer respectively.  Rahimpour said the immediate formation of the new government will help enhance political stability in the crisis-hit country. The foreign ministry official touched on the major challenges facing Afghanistan, such as the production and smuggling of illicit drugs, and expressed Iran’s readiness to cooperate to address the problems. Richard Ottaway, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, referred to the critical situation in the Middle East region and stressed the significant role of Iran in the region.

  Military Approach at the Root of Problems  

In a separate development, the deputy foreign minister delivered a speech at the conference.

Rahimpour expressed Tehran’s support for the national unity government in Afghanistan and said, “Some challenges in Afghanistan are rooted in the military approaches of some foreign countries,” IRNA reported.  The official said, “Iran supports the national unity government in Afghanistan and is hopeful that the government will be able to promote security, peace and growth, bring about substantial improvements in Afghanistan and help open a new chapter in relations with the neighboring countries and the international community.”

The diplomat said Iran has advocated peace and security in Afghanistan based on its principled policies over the past years, adding, “Tehran has always tried to help improve security in Afghanistan and is currently acting in this line.”

He enumerated a few factors, such as the complete pull-out of foreign forces from Afghanistan and the region, the consolidation of the popularly-elected government in the country and regional security cooperation, as the prerequisites for creating a peaceful, prosperous and stable Afghanistan.   

The senior official voiced concern that continued wrong policies of some foreign countries in the region may cause terrorist movements to spread from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to other regional countries. A one-day conference on Afghanistan was held in London on Thursday with the participation of high-ranking officials from over 60 countries and more than 20 international organizations. British Prime Minister David Cameron, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani were among the keynote speakers that addressed the conference.