KABUL: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent accusation leveled against Iran has intensified doubts about the trustworthiness wielded by the United States in its peace quest in Afghanistan.
Mike Pompeo on Tuesday accused Iran of working to thwart efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan, amid an escalating crisis with Iran following a U.S. drone strike on Friday in Iraq that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force.
Addressing a State Department news conference, he said, “Iran has refused to join the regional and international consensus for peace and is, in fact, actively working to undermine the peace process by continuing its long global effort to support militant groups there.
Pompeo’s remarks have come under fire in Afghanistan, spewing speculations that the United States itself is trying to sabotage the peace process. “Americans are looking for an excuse to blame Iran for any drawback and failure in the Taliban negotiations. Neither has the Taliban any nexus with the Iranians for a sabotage agenda to be hatched, nor do the Iranians have such proclivity,” said ex-Taliban member Mawlawi Qalamuddin.
“The United States has never had a plan to restore peace in Afghanistan,” he said, harboring doubts about the U.S. readiness to strike a peace agreement with the Taliban.
A High Peace Council member Abdulhakim Mojahid said there is a blame game between the United States and Iran. “Both of them accuse each other of sabotaging peace in Afghanistan. We call on both powers to avoid such gambit,” he said.
Mojahid also ruled out Pentagon’s charges that the Taliban are under Iran’s command. “The militant group may have relations with Iran, but the Taliban get no dictation in their policymaking,” he said.
He sought a de-escalation of tensions between the two powers, asking Tehran and Washington to avoid a verbal tug-of-war that endangers regional and global security.