Iran opposes West keeping Afghan bases post-2014

Reuters , Monday 5 Dec 2011

Iran's foreign ministry voices objection over the possible continuation of American troop presence in Afghanistan after 2014

Iran would oppose the presence of foreign troops in neighbouring Afghanistan after 2014, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi reiterated on Monday, saying the continued deployment would not help Afghan stability.

Western officials foresee some role for allied forces after 2014, the agreed cut-off date for the departure of most foreign combat troops, possibly in a mix of roles including training and special forces.

Speaking at an international conference on Afghanistan, Salehi said: "Certain Western countries seek to extend their military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014 by maintaining their military bases there. We deem such an approach to be contradictory to efforts to sustain stability and security in Afghanistan."

"We believe that any international or regional initiative to restore peace and security in Afghanistan could only be successful if they discard the presence of foreign military forces and especially ... the founding of foreign military bases in Afghanistan."

Washington and Kabul have yet to reach an agreement which would allow it to keep some forces in Afghanistan after 2014.

Salehi also said Iran condemned what he called the violation of human rights by foreign military forces in Afghanistan including attacks on residential areas.

The foreign military presence over the past 10 years had failed to uproot terrorism and had actually made the problem worse, he said.

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