TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran’s security chief says the U.S. is pursuing an "unacceptable” political agenda in neighboring Afghanistan.
Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani told Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib over phone late Tuesday that the U.S. is ignoring Afghan interests, apparently referring to Washington’s ongoing peace talks with the Taliban without the participation of the government in Kabul.
Shamkhani encouraged the Afghan government to take the lead and initiate peace talks in the war-torn country.
The Iranian official hailed a recent power-sharing deal signed between President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah, saying it is an "important step towards establishing stability and a powerful government”.
The deal puts an end to a months-long feud over the results of elections, which has plunged Afghanistan into a political crisis.
Shankhani called on Afghan groups to start reconciliation talks, saying it is another "necessary” step to maintain the country’s achievements.
The official also rejected certain reports that Iranian border guards had thrown several Afghan nationals into a river in western Afghanistan to prevent them from entering Iran.
"While Iranian border guards had no role in the tragedy… the unsubstantiated media fuss ignited by certain Afghan officials and media outlets is surprising and regrettable,” Shamkhani said.
He said there is "irrefutable” evidence dismissing such claims against Iran. Even so, Iran is ready to form a joint fact-finding and investigate the incident.
The Afghan national security advisor, for his part, thanked Iran for playing a decisive role in the power-sharing agreement between Ghani and Abdullah.
He said Afghanistan would never allow cordial relations between the two Muslim neighbors to be affected by outside propaganda.
He also expressed hope the recent tragedy would become an opportunity for both sides to find a permanent solution to control their joint border.