Speaker of Iranian Parliament: Afghan 'Puppet Government' Was Wrong to Rely on US
© REUTERS / TALIBAN HANDOUTTaliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid speaks to Badri 313 military unit at Kabul's airport, Afghanistan on 31 August 2021 in this image obtained from a handout video. Taliban/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
© REUTERS / TALIBAN HANDOUT
The Taliban* militants captured Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on 15 August as western troops were about to withdraw from the country after nearly 20 years of military presence. US-trained Afghan forces gave up the city almost without a fight.
The Iranian Parliament's Speaker, Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf, said it had been a strategic mistake for the Afghan “puppet government” to trust the United States to bring security to the country.
During a parliamentary session on Sunday, the speaker said that public dissatisfaction with America’s 20-year military presence and inaction of the pro-US government was to blame for the Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan last month.
“After 20 years of ruling under an American(-oriented) government and despite all slogans and expectations, not only has [Afghanistan] not made any tangible progress in economic infrastructure and public welfare, but even the most elementary need of a civil society, namely security, has not been fulfilled in that country,” Ghalibaf said, according to a translation on the Tasnim news agency.
The speaker added that a chaotic withdrawal of western troops from the country that was completed on 30 August has shown that America’s global power is declining. The Taliban set the end of last month as a “red line” for the troop withdrawal.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, previously called the US “the source of all the crises in Afghanistan”.
“Behind the scenes of US foreign policy there lies a predatory wolf that sometimes changes into a cunning fox. Today’s situation in Afghanistan is an example of this,” Khamenei said back in August.
As the Taliban’s forces approached the outskirts of Kabul on 15 August - to the great surprise of America's intelligence agencies which reportedly hadn't expected the group to try to grab power so expeditiously - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
The Taliban reportedly offered the US the opportunity to take responsibility for securing Kabul after Ghani’s departure, but American authorities apparently refused. The only mission for the US was to evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies, Washington told the Taliban leaders.
Ghani, who visited the White House as recently as June to discuss “enduring United States support” for Afghanistan, said he escaped the country to prevent “bloodshed”.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia.