US Intervention Behind Grave Security Situation in Afghanistan

US Intervention Behind Grave Security Situation in AfghanistanUS Intervention Behind Grave Security Situation in Afghanistan

A senior Iranian diplomat said the US-led invasion of Afghanistan has merely led to the deterioration of the security situation in the South Asian country, urging enhanced economic ties with Kabul to pave the way for an international fight against terrorism there.

Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Es'haq Al-Habib made the remarks on Friday at a Security Council meeting on the issue of Afghanistan's relations with its Central Asian neighbors and the link between peace and security, Press TV reported.

"Afghanistan has not become more secure in the wake of the US invasion," he said. "The fact is that the invasion of Afghanistan, and basically any invasion in our region, has failed to improve the security situation."

Tehran believes that Afghanistan should be turned into a place for international cooperation rather than rivalry, he added.

"In the world today, peace, security and development cannot be bound to a single country's borders and can only be achieved within all-inclusive regional frameworks," the Iranian envoy said.

Al-Habib stressed that increasing economic cooperation with Afghanistan can help promote the fight against terrorism.

Over the past decade, Iran has stressed the need for reinforcing economic ties with Afghanistan as an approach toward restoring regional peace, the official noted.

  Iran's Contribution

Iran has implemented more than 300 infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, worth about $500 million in total, and hosted millions of Afghan refugees over the past three decades, he pointed out.

The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan under the guise of the so-called war on terror. Some 17 years on, the local Taliban militant group has only boosted its campaign of violence across the country, targeting both civilians and security forces in bloody assaults.

More recently, the self-styled Islamic State terror group has also taken advantage of the chaos and established a foothold in eastern and northern Afghanistan.

IS has stepped up its terror attacks in the war-torn country after losing its bases in Iraq and Syria despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops on Afghan soil.

During Friday's meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that surviving IS militants are fleeing from Syria to Central Asia and Afghanistan.

"Northern Afghanistan is turning into a foothold of international terrorism with the Afghan wing of IS in the lead," Lavrov said, adding that the terror outfit is "forming a staging ground to carry out destructive plans in the region."

The Russian foreign minister also raised concerns about drug production in Afghanistan that "saw an unprecedented growth" last year.

"Urgent measures are necessary to cut off this threat which fuels international terrorism, undermines countries' stability, the health of the younger generation, triggers crime and corruption," he said.

The American and Pakistani officials engaged in a war of words during Friday's meeting. US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said Washington cannot work with Pakistan if it continues to give sanctuary to "terrorist organizations".

In response, Pakistan's UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodi said Afghanistan and its partners, especially the US, need to address "challenges inside Afghanistan rather than shift the onus for ending the conflict onto others."

Washington-Islamabad ties soured last August after the US accused Pakistan of providing a haven for extremist groups that carry out attacks in Afghanistan; an allegation rejected by Islamabad.


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