Iran back into the fold

Jack Straw declared in his one-day visit to Teheran, on the way to Pakistan, that the British armed forces will stay in Afghanistan for as short a period of time as possible and that their role is fundamentally to provide support in humanitarian aid programmes.

He stated that London agreed with Teheran that the Afghan people should construct the future of the country, based on as broad a coalition as possible, without interference from abroad.

Hadi Khamenei, the head of the Iranian parliamentary commission on Afghanistan, agreed with Jack straw, stating that “the fate of Afghanistan, given its long history of hard ordeals, should be left to the Afghan people’s will”. He added that Iran was committed to the fight against international terrorism and in this, he said the international community should not remain indifferent to the state terrorism practised by the Israeli government in the occupied Palestinian lands.

Straw also met the Iranian Foreign Minister, Kamal Kharrazi, who underlined the comments made by Hadi Khamenei. “The administration of Afghanistan should be put at the hands of its people”, he said.

Kamal Kharrazi also declared that a continued presence of foreign troops inside Afghanistan will only destabilise the country further because sooner or later, the Afghans will turn against the outsiders.


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