A Taliban delegation has arrived in the Irianian capital as part of a series negotiations, Dec 30, 2018. (AFP)

January 2, 2019

The Taliban discussed Afghanistan’s “post-occupation situation” with Iran in their latest meeting, the group said Tuesday, as Tehran makes a more concerted and open push for peace ahead of a possible US drawdown.

The remarks come after Iran confirmed Monday that the Taliban had visited Tehran for a second round of talks in just a few days that are aimed at ending the 17-year conflict.

The Taliban delegation discussed with Iran “the post-occupation situation, restoration of peace and security in Afghanistan and the region”, the militants said in a statement posted on social media and emailed to journalists.

It signals a growing confidence among the Taliban for US troops to pull out of Afghanistan, after US officials last month told various media outlets that President Donald Trump had decided to slash the number of boots on the ground.

There have been reports in the past of talks between Iran and the Taliban, but they have typically been denied by Tehran.

Tehran’s peace push will be viewed with concern by hawks in Washington, who fear that Trump’s planned withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan will cede regional influence to Iran.

Iran’s deputy foreign ministry Abbas Araghchi will travel to Afghanistan in the next two weeks, the foreign ministry said, without giving further details.

Iran and Afghanistan share a nearly 600-mile (960-kilometre) border, and have had a complex relationship in recent years.Tehran has long supported its co-religionists in Afghanistan, the Shia Hazara minority, who were violently persecuted by the Taliban during its rule in the 1990s.

Iran worked alongside the United States and Western powers to help drive out the Taliban after the US-led invasion in 2001. But there have been allegations, from Western and Afghan sources, that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have in recent years established ties with the Taliban aimed at driving out US forces from Afghanistan.

AFP

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.