News / Middle East

Iran's Ahmadinejad Criticizes US Role in Afghanistan

Multimedia

Audio
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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid