HERAT, Afghanistan (AFP) – Iran believes Afghanistan would never allow its soil to be used by the United States to launch an attack, the Iranian foreign minister said here Saturday.
Washington was anyway too weakened by its efforts in Iraq to confront Iran, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters on the sidelines of a regional economic meeting in the Afghan city of Herat near the Iranian border.
The United States has around 27,000 troops and several bases in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban and Al-Qaeda as part of its “war on terror”.
It has never ruled out attacking Iran to stop its nuclear programme, which Washington alleges is aimed at making nuclear weapons but Tehran insists is entirely peaceful.
Asked at a media briefing if Tehran was concerned Washington could use its resources in Afghanistan to attack, Mottaki said Kabul would not let this happen.
“The people of Afghanistan will never allow America to use Afghanistan against any other country. This our belief, this is our trust,” Mottaki said.
The United States is one of the main financial and military backers of post-Taliban Afghanistan, which says Iran is also a firm ally despite US and British claims that rebels here are supplied from across the Iranian border.
Mottaki added that the United States had exhausted itself with the war in Iraq and “is not in a position to create another conflict in our region.”
“Americans, not based on our statements … but based on statements by American politicians have been defeated in Iraq,” the foreign minister said.
Iran has vowed never to initiate an attack on the United States but has warned of a crushing response to any act of aggression against it.
“If they decide to do such madness, we have announced to Americans what is going to happen and they know it,” Mottaki said, without elaborating.