Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Afghanistan’s charge d’affaires in Tehran, Shah Mardanqol, to protest the recent Afghan media hype against the Iranian embassy in Kabul
The Afghan official was summoned to the ministry on Thursday to receive Iran's protest, IRNA reported.
Head of the Iranian Foreign Ministry's Afghanistan Headquarters Mohsen Pak-Ayin told Shah Mardanqol that Iran is concerned about the security consequences of a US-Afghan strategic pact.
The officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran have repeatedly … notified Afghan authorities of [Tehran’s] concerns about security threats posed by the United States in the region, in particular, the continued existence of [foreign] military bases in Afghanistan, said the Iranian official.
Pak-Ayin also said the recent media hype in Afghanistan against the Iranian embassy in Kabul has been in line with certain countries’ attempts to disrupt the friendly ties between Iran and Afghanistan. He expressed hope the Afghan government would handle the issue.
The Afghan official, for his part, underlined the importance of reinforcing ties between the two countries and expressed his regret over recent reports by Afghan media outlets.
He said he would inform his respective country of Iran's protest.
Since Monday, a number of Afghan Senate members and media outlets have claimed that Iran's Ambassador to Kabul Abolfazl Zohrevand met Afghan Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar to urge the upper house of the Afghan parliament not to approve a strategic cooperation pact with the US.
Zohrevand on Tuesday rejected the allegations and said, “Such propaganda is spread by the Americans and those who advocate the agreement.”
“At that meeting, we merely conveyed Iran’s concern over the strategic pact with the US to the Afghan officials,” Zohrevand said, adding that Iran reiterated that Afghanistan was “at liberty to have any agreement with any country.”
The Iranian envoy, however, argued that any strategic pact on the security of the region should guarantee regional stability, and pointed out that if such agreements result in the establishment of permanent US bases in Afghanistan, the issue will not merely concern Kabul.
Iran and several other regional countries have expressed concern about the strategic pact, which would extend the US military presence in Afghanistan to 2024, 10 years after 2014, the original date agreed upon for the departure of all foreign combat troops from Afghanistan.