By: Lailuma Noori
Iranian media has recently published articles in support of Taliban in their media outlets, showing their unreal and biased aspect over Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s political situation witnesses new developments and changes. Following US and NATO troops withdrawal process from Afghanistan has resulted in surge in Taliban attacks and violence in the country. It is natural that Iran cannot be indifferent over changes in its neighboring country.
Recent position of a number of Iranian experts and media in connection with Taliban activities in Afghanistan has been followed by various reactions. Iran’s Kayhan Newspaper that has very close visions to the country’s leader has somehow supported Taliban’s recent increasing attacks and violence in Afghanistan.
Kayhan, the Iranian newspaper wrote, “No news from horrific crimes similar to ISIL’s in Iraq in recent Taliban advance in Afghanistan. Even the Taliban has declared they have nothing with the country’s Shia citizens.” The newspaper in its recent article has written that “today’s Taliban forces we’re talking about are different from the Taliban we knew in the past.”
In Kayhan’s article, it is seen that the newspaper is trying to prove that Taliban have changed comparing to previous years. It was also insisted in the newspaper’s article that Taliban has no enmity with tribal and religious minorities particularly the country’s Shia citizens.
Besides, an Iranian expert in a television program “Jahanaraa”, a political program broadcast through Ofoq TV, has informed of the dealing capacity of the Iranian government with the Taliban group on border security issues and distribution of border waters with Afghanistan.
In reaction to the Iranian media outlets, Afghanistan presidential advisor Shah Hussain Murtazavi has said he hopes Kayhan’s position in praising Taliban’s crimes in Afghanistan won’t be the official stance of the Iranian government.
“The editor in chief of the Iranian Kayhan newspaper might think Taliban will fight Daesh or the group might grant more water to Iran after the victory. Such perception is absolutely wrong,” Murtazavi said, hoping Iran did not forget the killing of its diplomats by the Taliban in Mazar-e-Sharif.
23 years back, Taliban by capturing Mazar-e-Sharif, the provincial capital of Balkh shot to death eight Iranian diplomats and a journalist after they stormed the country’s consulate in the city.
An Afghan news correspondent Jamshid Yama Amiri has written that a group in Tehran is working to repair its historic tense relations and open a new chapter of its political relations by grading and support the Taliban group. But, Taliban ideologic and radical mind will never change on Iran’s Shia religion. According to Amiri, such efforts will be useless as Taliban won’t be Iran’s ally.
Recent propaganda in support of the Taliban group in Iran’s media outlets shows that the Iranian government has apparently a hidden dealing with political leaders of the Taliban group; therefore, the country’s publicity is trying to pave the way for further dealing with the Taliban group.
Iran should not interfere in internal affairs of Afghanistan. The Iranian government and media outlets should keep its impartiality in their foreign and media policy.
Afghanistan Foreign Affairs Ministry has repeatedly reacted against Iran’s stance in connection with political tensions in Afghanistan. Kabul wants good relations with Iran as both countries have common religious, cultural and historic sharing. With all these, Tehran was not supposed to have unreal and biased perception over Afghanistan’s current incidents and issues. Nevertheless, evidence shows that Iran has not been able to create a mechanism towards good relations with Afghanistan.
In such circumstances, the support of Iran’s media outlets from Taliban and effort to show Taliban’s good image is a biased and unreal perception over Afghanistan, which has raised reactions in Afghanistan. With passing period of time, Iran’s new strategy on Afghanistan government should be clarified.