(TEHRAN, Iran) — Iran wants Afghanistan to break its Strategic Partnership Agreement with the U.S.
The pact signed last week in Kabul by President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai outlines the American role in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of nearly all coalition forces in 2014.
Tehran’s ambassador to Kabul, Abolfazl Zohrehvand, told Afghan lawmakers that any U.S. soldiers left in their country would only serve to destabilize the region. It’s believed Iran’s real motivation is to gain more influence with the Afghan government that is not tethered to Washington.
Meanwhile, the Iranian government’s demand that Afghanistan not ratify the SPA is also accompanied by a threat to deport hundreds of thousands of Afghans who work in Iran in construction and agricultural jobs.
However, it appears that Iran’s attempted intervention into Afghan affairs is falling on deaf ears.
Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, the speaker of Afghanistan’s upper house of parliament, said that he told the Iranian ambassador that his government was free to negotiate with whatever country it chooses, a sentiment echoed by other lawmakers.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN