Iran: Afghan pact with US will only increase violence
Published Sunday, May 6, 2012
Iran's foreign ministry on Sunday denounced a new strategic pact signed between Afghanistan and the United States, saying it would give rise to instability in the neighboring country.
"Iran is concerned about the strategic pact signed between Afghanistan and the US," ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a statement carried by the official IRNA news agency.
"Not only will the strategic pact not resolve Afghanistan's security problems, but it will intensify insecurity and instability in Afghanistan," he said.
His remarks came after US President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed a deal with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, guaranteeing that occupying US forces will remain in the country after the majority withdraw in 2014.
However the deal, reached after months of painstaking negotiations, states that the US does not seek permanent military bases in Afghanistan as it has in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries.
Mehmanparast said on Sunday the solution to establishing security in Afghanistan was for foreign forces to leave.
He also said the pact was a source of "concern" for Iran as "the status of US military bases in Afghanistan is unclear and the security duties of US forces lack transparency."
Iran regularly criticizes the presence of Western forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and in the Arab Gulf countries, calling for their immediate departure.