News ID: 269339
Published: 0209 GMT May 20, 2020

US intel report says Iran not looking to destabilize Afghanistan, contradicts Pompeo claims

US intel report says Iran not looking to destabilize Afghanistan, contradicts Pompeo claims
AFP

Iran is not looking to destabilize Afghanistan, US military intelligence said, contradicting earlier statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo had claimed in January that Iran is “actively working to undermine the peace process.” But the Defense Intelligence Agency painted a much different picture for US government investigators supervising the war effort in Afghanistan, saying that Iranian goals match up with a recent US-Taliban peace deal, The National Interest wrote.

The DIA told the Lead Inspector General in a Tuesday report that Iran has not indicated that it will “actively oppose” the peace accords, which call for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

“Iran’s strategic objectives relating to Afghanistan continue to be maintaining a stable Afghan central government and security along Iran’s eastern border,” the Lead Inspector General wrote in a Tuesday report, summarizing the DIA’s statements. “Iran’s objectives also include protecting Shia populations, eliminating [ISIS in Central Asia], opposing the US presence in the region, and securing Iranian economic interests.”

US forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan as part of a peace deal signed in February. US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad left for Afghanistan and Qatar on Sunday to push for talks between the Afghan government and Taliban militants.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry had said in a March 1 statement that the US government “has no legal standing to sign a peace agreement or to determine the future of Afghanistan,” but also welcomed the withdrawal of US forces.

The DIA told the Lead Inspector General that “nothing in Iran’s March statements suggested Iran will actively oppose the deal, because it has previously voiced support for a US withdrawal from the region.”

 

 

   
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