KABUL: Iranian Ambassador to Kabul Bahador Aminian reassured that his country would not attack Afghanistan, but said senior officials in Tehran would decide if to attack the US military bases deployed in Afghanistan if Washington wants to attack Iranian targets.
In an interview with the private broadcaster of Ariana News, Aminian praised President Ashraf Ghani’s commitment that Afghan soil would not be used against Iran, saying that Tehran was happy with that.
“Iran is a responsible and wise player. We are not going to attack a place from where we were not targeted. We pay respect to Afghanistan’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Aminian said. “If we are attacked from a base deployed in Afghanistan, what would be our response? We will not attack the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, but our authorities will make decision on the US bases.”
Tensions between Tehran and Washington has been escalating in the recent days after General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Unit was killed in a US drone strike last Friday in Iraq. Iran’s IRGC in retaliation, attacked two American military bases in Iraq on Wednesday by missiles.
Soleimani was a mastermind of the IRGC’s overseas policies.
Iranian ambassador said that despite confrontation with the United States in different fronts, late Soleimani never let the problems come to Afghanistan.
Aminian blamed the US for “trampling all the red lines”, warning that Iran would show worse reactions if the US tries to retaliate Tehran’s latest missile attacks on American bases in Iraq.
Meanwhile, the ambassador admitted that Soleimani’s successor, Esmail Ghaani had made a visit to Afghanistan, but denied reports that he was in Afghanistan as deputy ambassador. He said that Ghaani’s trip to Kabul and Bamyan province was “quite official visit as a security official” where he met Afghan security officials.
Aminian said that Ghaani went to Bamyan to assess security problems of a hospital project funded by Iran due to demands of Afghan officials.
He denied Tehran’s support of Taliban, saying no evidence was provided in this regard. “Our relations with the government of Afghanistan are clear. We recognize the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, not the Islamic Emirate that Taliban used during their rule in Afghanistan.”