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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid