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Diplomatic row brews between Kabul, Tehran

Iran has expelled two Afghan diplomats in retaliation to Kabul’s ousting several Iranian diplomats

AT News

KABUL: With the new risk of a domestic political fallout in Afghanistan, new dispute is brewing between Kabul and Tehran, with both sacking diplomats of one another.

Sources who insisted on anonymity said that a rift has broken out between Iran and Afghanistan as both have locked horns on certain diplomatic and political issues and evicted some diplomats.

Iran has reportedly expelled two Afghan diplomats in reaction to Kabul’s ousting of several Iran diplomats. No reason has been cited for the outpouring of diplomatic confrontation. However, Iran never supported Ashraf Ghani’s victory in fraud-marred elections of 2019. There were reports Tehran was in favor of Ghani’s rival, Abdullah who has proclaimed himself the rightful president.

Afghanistan’s foreign ministry has brushed off diplomatic row with Tehran. MoFA spokesperson, Geran Hiwad, told BBC on Wednesday that relations between Iran and Afghanistan are at normalcy.

“Our ties are based on good neighborly relations and diplomatic missions and consulates of the two countries are working without a lull,” he said.

This is as an Iranian official in an interview with ISNA said that Tehran welcomes a political settlement between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah to form an inclusive government.

Two months ago, tensions escalated between Washington and Tehran after the U.S. killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Corps commander Qasim Suleimani. Immediately after Iran threatened to bomb U.S. military bases in the Middle East. But Iranian Ambassador to Kabul, Bahador Aminian, said Tehran would not attack Afghanistan but authorities in Tehran would decide whether or not to wage an attack American bases in the country.

Afghanistan foreign ministry subpoenaed Iranian ambassador to Kabul to explain remarks by Iranian authorities about possibility of attacking certain areas in Afghanistan in the aftermath of Tehran-Washington tensions.

Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan did not attend swearing-in ceremony of Ashraf Ghani and opted for neutrality about political events in Kabul.

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