Iran is accusing the US of creating “insecurity and instability” in the Middle East, as the Biden Admin pledges to keep troops in the region, accuses Russia of paying bounties to the Taliban with no evidence and won’t say whether it will respect the Afghanistan peace deal…
Iran is now joining the Taliban in accusing the US of provoking insecurity and instability in the Middle East—while publicly claiming the goal is to end the war that has become the longest in US History.
During a meeting with officials from the Taliban, Iran’s secretary of national security Ali Shamkhani said, “The US strategy supports the continuation of war and bloodshed among various Afghan groups in the political spectrum.” The meeting, which was held in Iran, was aimed at continuing peace talks in the neighboring country where the Taliban agreed to a landmark peace deal with the US and the Afghan Government last year. But despite the agreement, the Taliban has still been tied to a number of deadly suicide attacks, and it has accused the US of continuing to bomb areas with a large civilian population.
While the goal of the deal was to withdraw all US troops and NATO forces from the country by May 2021, the new Biden Administration has yet to say whether it even plans to recognize the agreement at all, instead insisting it still needs time to review the terms before deciding whether the US will be a part of it. Not only has President Biden not promised to end the War in Afghanistan, but he has also said he plans to keep a smaller presence in the Middle East as the US Military turns its focus to China and Russia. But Biden’s first phone call with Russian President Putin actually included talk of Afghanistan when he raised the widely debunked claim that Moscow paid the Taliban to kill American soldiers. Even though that “Russian bounties” story was quickly shot down by intelligence officials, there continue to be concerns that it will be used as yet another excuse to keep the US in Afghanistan for years to come.
Meanwhile, even though Biden promised to return to the Iran Nuclear Deal while he was on the campaign trail, his administration now seems to be saying “Not so fast.” Secretary of State Tony Blinken has said it’s still an option on the table, but the US has no plans to lift sanctions until Iran comes back into compliance with the deal, and they don’t expect that to happen anytime soon. “But we are a long way from that point. Iran is out of compliance on a number of fronts, and it would take some time should it make the decision to do so for it to come back into compliance and time for us then to assess whether it was meeting its obligations. So, we’re not we’re not there yet, to say the least,” Blinken said.
Israel has also been putting pressure on the Biden Administration NOT to return to the deal or to work on an agreement with Iran, and its military is reportedly working on new operational plans to strike Iran directly if tensions continue. Biden, however, has yet to comment on those claims.