Iran Holds Talks with Afghanistan, Taliban amid U.S. Peace Process

Breitbart | 12/27/2018 | Staff
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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani revealed Thursday that he had received the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, in his office, shortly after reports verified that Iranian government officials have been in touch with the Taliban amid peace talks with the U.S.

The Pentagon has accused the Iranian regime of cooperating with the Taliban in the past, despite Tehran being governed by a Shiite theocracy and the Taliban being a Sunni Muslim terrorist group. Iran also boasts significant ties with Afghanistan and has welcomed an estimated thousands of Afghan refugees, many of whom find themselves on battlefields in Syria defending dictator Bashar al-Assad. A consistent wave of Afghan migrants into Iran helps the country maintain military operations in other places it has helped destabilize, such as Iraq and Yemen.

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The Trump administration is currently embroiled in a series of discussions with the Taliban to discuss a potential resolution to the 17-year-old war that would disarm but legitimize the Taliban as a political party.

Afghanistan’s Khaama news agency reported Wednesday that Ghani, who the Taliban have refused to cooperate with deeming him an illegitimate ruler of the country, discussed the “joint fight against terrorism” with Shamkhani, who spoke on behalf of the Iranian government.

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“According to ARG Palace, the two side sheld talks regarding further expansion of bilateral ties between Kabul and Tehran, importance of regional consensus, Afghan-led and owned peace process, and joint fight against terrorism,” Khaama reported, noting that the meeting reportedly occurred on Wednesday evening local time.

Iran’s Tasnim News Agency adds to the Khaama report that Ghani’s government is reportedly aware that Iran is negotiating with the Taliban.

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“The series of (Iran’s) connections and negotiations with the Taliban have been held with the knowledge of the Afghan government, and this process will proceed,” Shamkhani reportedly said at a meeting with senior...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Breitbart
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