News / Middle East

Iran's Ahmadinejad Criticizes US Role in Afghanistan

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Sean Maroney

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized Washington with his own words, as he appeared at a news conference alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.

Earlier this week, visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates accused Tehran of playing a "double game" in Afghanistan – being friendly to the Afghan government, while at the same time trying to undermine Afghan and international forces.

Iran denies the allegations, and Mr. Ahmadinejad struck back.

He says that in his view, U.S. officials are the ones playing a double game. He said they created terrorism in Afghanistan and then declared a need to fight it.

The United States supported Afghan rebels more than two decades ago when the Soviet Union fought in Afghanistan. But the support vanished after the Soviets pulled out, and eventually, analysts say instability in Afghanistan created a safe haven for al-Qaida.

While touring an Afghan army training center outside Kabul, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed his concern about the Iranian leader's visit.

"As I told President Karzai, we think Afghanistan should have good relations with all of its neighbors, but we also want all of Afghanistan's neighbors to play an upfront game in dealing with Afghanistan," said Gates.

President Karzai told reporters that relations between Tehran and Kabul are deep and comprehensive.

He says Afghanistan wants good relations with all its neighbors. He says his country does not want to be used as a launching pad for an attack elsewhere in the region, and it does not want its neighbors to fight with others inside its borders.

The president of Kabul's state-sponsored Regional Studies Center of Afghanistan, Abdul Ghafoor Liwal, tells VOA he believes Iranian officials like the fact that U.S. resources currently are tied down in Afghanistan.

"They never talk clearly about the United States leaving from Afghanistan. But they always, they want to fight inside Afghanistan with the United States," said Liwal.

Daoud Sultanzoy is a member of the Afghan Parliament. While he agrees with Liwal's assessment, he tells VOA the Afghan government should embrace Iran with open arms and a watchful eye.

"We should take advantage of those similarities in historic and cultural and linguistic terms. But these similarities should not be for subjugation or domination by Iran," says Sultanzoy.

Earlier, an Afghan presidential spokesman said Mr. Karzai and Mr. Ahmadinejad planned to discuss joint projects, such as building a railway linking Iran and Tajikistan through Afghanistan.

Mr. Ahmadinejad had planned to visit Afghanistan Monday, which ended up being the same day the U.S. defense secretary arrived unannounced in the country. The Iranian president's visit was postponed for unspecified reasons.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid