Iran Warns West against Talks with Taliban

A00268869.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki warned the West on Sunday not to push for talks with the Taliban militia.

“Today, the whole world knows about the strategic failure of foreign forces in Afghanistan and we advise them not to try a new failure,” Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference.

“We advise them to think about the consequences of the talks (with the Taliban) which are taking place in the region and in Europe and avoid being bitten in the same spot twice,” Mottaki said, citing a Persian proverb.

Last month, Afghan government representatives met Taliban leaders in the Saudi holy city of Mecca for talks on ending the insurgency that has plagued Afghanistan ever since the militia was ousted from power in a US-led invasion seven years ago, the Saudi-owned daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
The Afghan government denied the report but President Hamid Karzai has long called for talks with the Taliban on condition that they accept his government’s constitution and are not involved with Al-Qaeda.

Several Western countries have expressed support for negotiations with the terrorist group, putting a big question mark in front of the West’s allegations about global campaign against terrorism.

“The West should not think that they can confine extremism to Afghanistan, Pakistan and central Asia,” Mottaki said, warning that extremism would one day also reach Europe and the West.

The hardline Taliban had hostile relations with Shiite Iran, which was a major backer of the Afghan opposition to the militia’s rule.

West’s support for talks with the terrorist Taliban comes at a time when the group pulled some 50 passengers off a bus in southern Afghanistan and beheaded as many as 30 of them.

The police chief of Kandahar Province, where the attack occurred, said that of six bodies retrieved so far, all had been beheaded, mutilated and dumped. The police had received information that 24 others had been killed but had yet to find the bodies, the police chief, General Matiullah Qati, said.

The attack occurred Thursday on the main road running from the southern city of Kandahar to the western town of Herat, Qati said. It took place in Maiwand District, which is known as an area with a significant Taliban presence, where attacks on military convoys are frequent. It is also the main road for British and Afghan army troops traveling to Helmand Province, where the insurgency is the strongest in the country.

The attack follows a pattern of intimidation and brutality that Taliban insurgents have pursued, spreading terror in an effort to undermine support for the Afghan government.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, confirmed Sunday that the group was responsible for the killings and said that 27 passengers had been taken from a bus three days earlier and killed after appearing before a Taliban court.

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