TEHRAN -- Iran’s parliament speaker, Muhammad Baqer Qalibaf, said Sunday the humiliating withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a sign of Washington’s diminishing power, proving that tying one’s security to the U.S. is a strategic mistake.
“Various political analysts from across the globe have asserted that the humiliating escape of the U.S. army is a clear sign of declining international clout of the United States,” Qalibaf told an open session of the parliament.
“Giving up the country by the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan and the easy takeover of the entire country by the Taliban was a result of widespread dissatisfaction with 20 years of U.S. occupation. It proved without a speck of doubt that the trust put in the United States by some Afghan statesmen, who believed the U.S. would bring progress and security to their country, was a strategic mistake,” he added.
“Twenty years after the establishment of a U.S.-backed government and despite all slogans and images created, the country not only did not experience any tangible progress in economic infrastructure and public welfare, but was also devoid of the most basic needs of a civil society, that is, security,” Qalibaf said.
Qalibaf reaffirmed Iran’s support for the rights of the Afghan people from all racial and religious backgrounds, saying Iranians want to see sustainable security in Afghanistan.
“What the Islamic Republic wants conforms to what the Afghan people want,” he said.
The Taliban are poised to run Afghanistan again 20 years after they were removed from power by American invading forces. The militants intensified their offensives and rapidly overran major cities in recent weeks as the United States started what was seen as a withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan. The Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, forcing the US-allied Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, to flee the country.
The shock takeover also prompted evacuation of thousands of Afghan and foreign civilians via the Kabul airport, while foreign troops also used the airfield to pull out.
The Taliban’s deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar said on Saturday that the group was in the process of forming an inclusive government.
“I assure the people that we strive to improve their living conditions,” Baradar said.
Afghanistan’s neighboring countries plan to hold a virtual summit to discuss the latest chain of events.
Following consultations with the foreign ministers of Russia and China, Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian and his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, agreed in a telephone conversation on Saturday that a multinational summit will be convened in the next few days. The meeting will be at the level of special representatives and foreign ministers.