The future appears uncertain for Afghanistan following its takeover by the Taliban as US-led forces withdrew from the country after 20 years of occupation. As other nations continue to evacuate their citizens, the Central Asian country has been struck by political and humanitarian crises.
Iranian Commander Says US’ ‘Humiliating Escape’ From Afghanistan Lesson for Dependent Allies
12:30 GMT 20.09.2021 (Updated: 13:12 GMT 20.09.2021)
© AP Photo / Rahmat GulA U.S. Chinook helicopter flies over the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
© AP Photo / Rahmat Gul
Afghanistan’s Western-backed government crumbled just four months after President Joe Biden announced that American forces would be withdrawing from the country following nearly 20 years of war, and less than two weeks after the Taliban* began a series of lightning offensives to take the country’s cities.
All nations that are dependent on the United States must learn the appropriate lessons from America’s “humiliating” experience in Afghanistan, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri has said.
“The humiliating flight of the United States from Afghanistan showed that a unipolar world has not taken shape and will not take shape, and that we will see a multipolar world,” the commander said, speaking at a military ceremony on Monday.
Recalling the dramatic collapse of the Afghan government in less than two weeks after the Taliban* took its first major urban area, Bagheri suggested that Kabul had made the crucial mistake of relying not on the support of its own people, but rather on the United States. The result, he said, was that “the army and government were lost in 10 or 11 days and fled in vain.”
“America’s humiliating escape [from Afghanistan] also indicates that such approaches will have such results. It is not unlikely that such a fate will befall countries with this kind of dependence on and trust in the US,” the official said.
According to Bagheri, the crisis in Afghanistan was a symbol of the end of a strategic situation which emerged after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, after which the US sought to create a unipolar world. He recalled that in the pursuit of this goal, the US carried out numerous acts of aggression in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
Bagheri stressed that Iran’s accession to the Chinese and Russian-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization political, economic and security pact last week marked the rise of new powers in the region at the same time that US hegemony was being eroded. “The power of this agreement shows the existence of other poles of power which are emerging and continuously gaining power on the world stage in parallel with the decline of American power,” he said.
The commander suggested that the fate of Afghanistan’s pro-US government “and other events” show that a similar future also awaits the “Zionist regime,” i.e. Israel. He warned that while Tel Aviv makes threats against Tehran from time to time, “they know perfectly well that any attack on the territory and interests of the Islamic Republic will face a decisive response from Iran. Even resistance by besieged groups in Gaza such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad is unbearable to them.”
Iran Wants Stable, ‘Inclusive’ Government in Afghanistan
Iran has paid close attention to events in Afghanistan in the wake of the US withdrawal and the collapse of the Kabul government, beefing up border security and sending out diplomatic feelers to the Taliban – with which it has a history of poor relations. Tehran has stressed repeatedly that its goals include the creation of “an inclusive government in Afghanistan that reflects the country’s ethnic and demographic composition,” including the protection of the country’s Shia minority – which comprises about 10 percent of Afghanistan’s population.
In August, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi invited “all groups in Afghanistan to reach a national agreement,” and stressed that “America’s defeat and its withdrawal must become an opportunity to restore life, security and durable peace” in the war-torn nation.
* A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.