December 23, 2020
An Afghan Taliban spokesman on Tuesday rejected the Iranian foreign minister’s remarks in a recent interview calling the Taliban a “terrorist group,” saying Mohammad Javad Zarif’s statement had the potential to damage relations between Iran and Afghanistan.
In an interview with Afghanistan’s Tolo News last week, when asked if Iran considered the Afghan Taliban a “terrorist group,” Zarif replied: “Our definition of the Taliban is that the Taliban has committed many terrorist acts. Before naming the Taliban as terrorists, the Taliban is a group in Afghanistan that has committed terrorist acts … Regarding recognition of the Taliban as a terrorist group, we have not removed the Taliban [from our list of] terrorist groups, in our laws.”
“Such irresponsible and misconceived remarks by Iranian officials have the potential of harming relations between two friendly and neighboring countries,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement. “The Islamic Emirate is not in any UN terror list … We urge Iranian officials to avoid aggravating Afghan sensitives with such irresponsible statements.”
He added: “We have always sought and continue to seek positive relations with all neighboring countries including Iran and we expect the same from them, therefore we call on them to desist from such remarks in the future so that we are also not forced to respond.”