Iran’s foreign ministry asked Afghanistan on Tuesday not to sign a security deal with the United States that would keep American troops in the country for the next decade.
A spokeswoman for the Iranian ministry said that the “”Islamic Republic of Iran does not consider the signing and approval of the pact useful for the long term expedience and interests of Afghanistan.”
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to visit Iran next week, the Associated Press reports.
The request comes ahead of an expected visit to Iran next week by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has endorsed the deal but introduced new conditions before approving it and deferred its signature to his successor in next April’s elections. […]
Iran has long opposed the agreement that keeps U.S. forces in its doorstep in neighboring Afghanistan. The two countries have about 945 kilometers (580 miles) of joint borders.
The United States is pressing for Karzai to sign the deal to extend a military presence past 2014, when NATO and United Nations mandates expire and all foreign troops leave the country. The U.S. says the deal will keep forces in Afghanistan to train and mentor the Afghan army and police, while a smaller presence will go after the remnants of al-Qaida.