Tehran (IranWire) – In one of Iran’s first official responses to the Taliban’s shock incursion into Afghanistan’s southern provinces, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh issued a plea for the country’s diplomatic staff to be kept safe.
In a tweet on Friday, August 13, Khatibzadeh wrote: “The Islamic Republic of Iran, while expressing concern over the escalation of violence in Afghanistan given the Taliban’s dominance over the city of Herat, requests that serious attention be paid to ensuring the security of its diplomatic facilities and diplomats.”
On Thursday the Islamist militant group overran the city of Herat, Afghanistan’s third-largest city, as well as the major city of Kandahar and the city of Ghazni south of Kabul, cutting off an important strategic corridor to the capital.
Also on Friday, apparently in response to Tehran’s concerns, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that all diplomats including those of the Islamic Republic of Iran would not be disturbed.
“We reassert that all foreign diplomats who have been in Afghanistan are safe and will not face any problems,” he told the Afghan Courier, “especially diplomats of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who are in Herat and other regions. They are safe and no-one has anything to do with them.”
Earlier, Iranian deputy foreign minister Rasoul Mousavi had posted a message on Twitter assuring readers that Iranian diplomats were in “perfect health”. In the message, he referred to the Taliban as the “forces of the Islamic Emirate”: the group’s preferred title in occupied territories.
Story taken from IranWire, with title changed.