Iran has admitted having “influence” over the Taliban in war-torn Afghan country, and offered to use that influence for India. As Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif has met with Indian officials for bilateral talks and addressed the Raisina Dialogue 2019, Iran’s connections with the Taliban are getting disclosed.
Days ago, Iranian delegations have met the Taliban in Tehran. The high-level Iranian sources said, “We have some influence on the Taliban, but we generally use it on behalf of the Afghan government. We’re happy to use it for India too.”
Zarif praised India’s support to his country during many difficult times and said will always stand by India under all possible circumstances.
In his remark, Zarif said: “India was on our side through the difficult times and that is why we will never forget you when better times come and I assure you better times will come.”
Zarif, before delivering his speech at the Raisina Dialogue, noted, “Challenges will be overcome. Sanctions are not new for Iran. We have been under one or the other kind of sanction for forty years. What was different from 2008 to 2012 to 2014 was that from our perspective, even if unjustifiably, we were sanctioned under the UN. We will continue to survive and deal with our friends.”
He said: “We work with the East and the West. We believe we do not need to take sides.”
Extending economic relations with India, Zarif said, “Iran is the most reliable energy provider for India. We have never allowed any consideration to impede our economic relations with our partners. We’ve always been there and we will always be there. In Iran, we rely on our own people for our security, for economic development, for scientific development. That does not mean isolation.”