MEK Iran: Taliban Deputy Meets with Regime Officials in Tehran
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) reported that a Taliban delegation headed by political deputy Abdulghani Baradar traveled to Tehran on January 27 to meet with Iranian regime officials.
Mullahs regime hosting Taliban
The meeting marks Baradar’s second visit to Iran. In December 2019, the Taliban deputy met with the regime’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Iran has also hosted earlier meetings with other representatives of the Taliban.
— SAzari (@Sazari2015) January 28, 2021
In 2018, Taliban spokesperson Zabihollah Mojahed released a statement describing meetings in Tehran in which he praised the “common interests” shared by the Iranian regime and the terrorist group.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is Afghanistan’s neighbor and an Islamic State alike. We have common interests. Regional security is important for us, and peace and stability in the region is impossible without collaboration between neighboring and regional countries,” Mojahed said.
The Afghan government has repeatedly stated its opposition to negotiations between Iran and the Taliban, characterizing such meetings as “contrary to all principles and relations between countries.”
The Iranian regime also claims that it considers the Taliban a terrorist entity, despite its ongoing negotiations with the group. Foreign Minister Zarif was quick to appear on the Afghan television channel Tolou this week to restate this technicality.
“According to [the Iranian government’s] law, Taliban is still a terrorist entity, and Iran has yet to revoke the Taliban’s terrorist designation,” he emphasized.
Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council, seemed to contradict this message during meetings with the Taliban this week. Referring to stalled peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Qatar, Shamkhani said, “Peace negotiations are a U.S. show-off.”
Shamkhani blamed the United States for the current strife in Afghanistan, adding, “It ensures the continuation of war and bloodshed between different tribes and proposes to create an impasse between various groups.”
Shamkhani’s claims were most likely in response to recent comments by U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who stressed that the Iranian regime’s involvement with the Taliban endangered peace negotiations.
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) January 26, 2021
Negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government are on uneven footing, and experts are concerned about the possible ramifications should peace talks fall through.
After the meeting with the Taliban, Shamkhani continued to stoke anti-American sentiment on Twitter.
“During today’s visit with the Taliban’s political delegation, I found that the group’s leaders are determined in the struggle against America,” Shamkhani tweeted.
“Someone, who has spent 13 years in Guantanamo Prison under their torture, did not put aside the regional struggle against the U.S.”
The meeting was productive for the Iranian regime. Abdulghani signaled the Taliban’s willingness to protect the Iran-Afghanistan border and to enter into a border partnership with the regime.
The timing of this agreement is likely strategic, considering the regime’s desire to lure the U.S. back into the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Iran’s meddling in the peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban could sabotage any hope of a deal and reestablish the Taliban as a global terrorist threat. The Iranian government hopes to use this as leverage to force the U.S. to drop oil sanctions.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), has stressed numerous times that the policy of appeasement has emboldened the Iranian regime to take increasingly aggressive actions. It is doubtful that the regime would have a nuclear program at all if the international community held the mullahs to account for its actions in the 1980s or at any time since.
The (PMOI / MEK Iran), and the Iranian Resistance reiterates that the regime must be held to account for its actions. Its embassies must be closed, its diplomats must be expelled, and it should be sanctioned for its terrorist activities and illegal nuclear program.