Iran Slams NATO’s Poor Performance in Central Asia, Caucasus

A03119064.jpgIran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alireza Sheikh Attar criticized the performance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Eurasia, saying that the NATO has left a poor record in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 15th International Conference on the Central Asia and the Caucasus here in Tehran on Monday, Sheikh Attar reminded that following the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the bipolar world, NATO set a new mission for itself as it had lost its raison detre which was confrontation with the threat of the Soviet Union.

“This new mission, which included presence in the Eurasia, specially the Caucasus and Central Asia, was not included in the articles of association of the NATO,” he said, reminding that NATO’s new mission was of crucial importance to Iran, Russia and other regional countries, including Afghanistan, because the said two regions play a significant and sensitive role as far as security is concerned.

“Yet, after several years of presence, NATO has not had a lustrous and successful performance,” the deputy foreign minister added.

He also pointed to the deployment of the NATO troops in Afghanistan, and said, “NATO’s presence in Afghanistan has also been unsuccessful as we observe increased plantation of narcotics, extremism, terrorist measures and attacks on the legal combatant troops in Afghanistan.”

The 15th international conference on Central Asia and Caucasus kicked off here on Monday.

A large number of scholars and researchers from 25 world countries are attending the conference the theme of which is NATO’s extension to Eurasia and its outcomes.

The two-day conference is to study the influence of NATO on Eurasian region for the first time.

Some 116 articles have been received from Iranian and foreign researchers by the secretariat of the confab, of which 40 are planned to be presented in the conference

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