Iran’s UN envoy denounces attacks against Afghan civilians
Press TV -(Fri Jun 21, 2013) The Islamic Republic of Iran has condemned, and called for an immediate end to attacks on civilians in Afghanistan.
Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan Thursday, Iran’s Ambassador to the world body Gholam-Hossein Dehqani expressed regret over the rising number of casualties in Afghanistan.
Part of the casualties is the result of operations carried out by US-led forces, he said, adding that Iran decries and demands an end to strikes against Afghan civilians under any pretext and by any party.
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but the country is still grappling with insecurity.
Attacks by the Taliban and clashes between the militants and foreign forces have claimed the lives of thousands of civilians over the past years.
Many civilians have also lost their lives in US-led operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past decade, with Afghans becoming increasingly outraged at the seemingly endless number of the deadly assaults.
Elsewhere in his address, Dehqani said that regional countries should contribute to Afghanistan’s political and economic development as the country is currently in a critical situation due to a planned partial withdrawal of foreign forces.
He said lasting stability and security in Afghanistan will serve Iran’s vital interests, adding that regional countries have a shared interest in Afghanistan’s stability and economic development.
He said Iran supports approaches to promote regional cooperation aimed at helping establish security and stability in Afghanistan.
He further noted that the Islamic Republic welcomes the pullout of foreign military forces from Afghanistan, and expressed hope for a full withdrawal of the troops.
Voicing deep concern over poppy cultivation and opium production in Afghanistan, Dehqani urged the Afghan government and the international community to work together to eliminate the production and smuggling of narcotics.
Iran, an immediate neighbor of Afghanistan, has repeatedly called for a regional solution to the Afghan crisis, saying that foreign military presence is the reason behind the growing insecurity and drug trafficking in the war-torn country.