News / Asia

Iran Looks to Deepen Ties to Afghanistan

Iran Looks to Deepen Ties to Afghanistani
X
December 19, 2013 8:54 PM
Amid a dispute with the United States over a long-term security deal, Afghanistan is pursuing closer ties with neighboring Iran. As VOA's Kokab Farshori reports, the diplomacy could signal an increasing regional role for Tehran in Afghan affairs after most international troops leave Afghanistan in 2014.
Iran Looks to Deepen Ties to Afghanistan
Kokab Farshori
Amid a dispute with the United States over a long-term security deal, Afghanistan is pursuing closer ties with neighboring Iran. The diplomacy could signal an increasing regional role for Tehran in Afghan affairs after most international troops leave Afghanistan in 2014.

When Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently visited Tehran, he received support for his delay in signing a security pact with the U.S. that would keep some American troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

To some experts, the move shows that Kabul is willing to let its neighbors have a stake in regional security.

Thomas Lynch, an analyst for Washington’s National Defense University, said, "As we come into 2014, there is this approach to try to find a more regional solution to the problems of violence in this part of the world. And there is interest that the United States has in this, as well, as the Iranians and Afghans."

But some experts warn that, if Karzai fails to finalize a deal with the U.S. and all international troops leave next year, Afghanistan's neighbors could be more a hindrance than a help.

Ahmad Majidyar, with Washington’s American Enterprise Institute, said, "The Afghan government and the United States have not finalized the security agreement. And if all the U.S. and NATO troops leave, the danger is that the neighboring countries will have a more negative influence and try to use Afghanistan as a proxy battlefield the way they used [it] in the 1990s."

U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan would appear to please Tehran, which rejects a foreign presence in the region. But it could also pave the way for a return of the Taliban to power in Kabul. That, said analyst Lynch, would be a problem not only for Afghans, but also for Iran.

"Iran had a very bitter and difficult time when the Taliban were in control from 1996 to 2001. So it is pretty clear Iranians do not wish to see the return of the Taliban... much as they do not like to see the remnants of a strong American presence that could, if not directly attack them, perhaps monitor and encourage their own internal dissenters to do things they would not like to have done," said Lynch.

Last month Iran struck a deal with six world powers over possible curbs to its nuclear ambitions. Analyst Majidyar said what happens with Iran's nuclear program, however, should not influence policies toward Afghanistan.

"It is important for the United States and the world community to detach its Iran policy from Afghanistan because Afghanistan cannot afford to be a proxy battlefield between regional powers or world powers," said Majidyar. "There is a lot of common interest between Iran, the United States and Pakistan. So it is important for them that, despite other differences that they may have, [they] cooperate with each other on Afghanistan."

Negotiations are continuing between Mr. Karzai and the U.S. that Washington hopes will allow both a limited U.S. troop presence and improved relations between Kabul and its neighbors.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Farid from: Kabul
December 21, 2013 12:18 AM
I don't know why President Karzai playing game with the people of Afghanistan, he is not authorized to just coming back and not signing the agreement between the US and Afghanistan, actually we as an Afghan don't believe in our neighbor both Iran and Pakistan, the both countries are just sending terorrist in our country we want peace as the same in the other countries, we need electronics, schools, educations, ect, these two countries destroyed our contry and now Mr. Karzai is looking to negotiate and sit to discuss with our neighbor while they bring poverty in our country. Pakistan is the big eveil in the region we are an independent country we have this authority to sign any pact with US, while US spent billion of dollar in Afghanistan we need to tie a very good relationship. but i am also recommending that US should not consider to Mr. President Karzai while he is the only person not assisting the Afghan people, US should consider what Afghan civilliance are looking for not any word from Karzai. Karzai is just thinking to support his brother and his team to win the coming election. This is the reason that he is blaming the US and saying we are not signing any pact with the US government.

by: Change Iran Now from: USA
December 20, 2013 8:27 PM
Iran's efforts to deepen its reach into Afghanistan are just more proof of Khamenei"s desire to turn Iran into a regional power though Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
December 20, 2013 11:29 AM
The Afghan President Hamid Karzai is playing with fire by delaying or not signing the security arrangement with the US for stationing some US troops after 2014. Why did Karzai call the Royal Jirga? Why Karzai did not accept the resolution passed by the Royal Jirga demanding Karzai to sign the security agreement immediately? The charm offensives of Iran and Pakistan will lead Afghanistan to Taliban rule. The Taliban will end up with all the heavy equipment and arms left by the US in Afghanistan, when the US troops exit Afghanistan. The US cannot take out billions of dollars worth of equipment that has to be abandoned while leaving Afghanistan.

One decade of sacrifices of the troops from US and other partners and trillion dollar spent will all end up in waste, just because of one unreliable Hamid Karzai. Did the US military go to Afghanistan with the permission of Ahmad Karzai? If not, is it necessary to get his permission for stationing a residual US troops? The question of permission from Karzai arose because of the unilateral announcement of US President Obama for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in 2014, as a political gimmick to win his election in the US.

If Obama did not mention the withdrawal date of US troops, none of these will have happened. It is the misjudgement of President Obama that ended up in this mess in Afghanistan. President Obama is trying to repair his mistake by requesting for stationing US troops beyond 2014. The miscalculation of President Obama and the demands of the unreliable Karzai will reinstate Taliban back to power soon after the US troops leaves Afghanistan. Both Obama and Karzai are equally responsible for the Afghan fiasco.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs