Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Afghanistan denies offering mediation between Iran, U.S.

Afghan ambassador to Iran Mohammad Omar Davoudzi on Tuesday denied press reports that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is to offer mediation between Iran and the United States. READ MORE

"This is not true and no Afghan official has offered such mediation," Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted the Afghan ambassador as saying.

Afghan media had reported that Karzai planned to discuss the possibility of his mediation between Iran and the United States during his upcoming visit to Tehran.

Davoudzi said the media had misquoted Afghan foreign minister's statement, which said "Afghanistan is against any tension in the region and given our good relations with the U.S., Europe and Iran, we are doing our best to avert tension."

Davoudzi underlined that during his visit to Tehran, Karzai will not put forward any offer to mediate between Iran and the United States, but the repatriation of Afghan nationals from Iran is on the agenda of talks.

"Rather, general issues about further expansion of friendly and brotherly relations between the two countries will be discussed," the ambassador added.

Both Afghan and Iranian media have reported that Karzai is to pay an official visit to Tehran in the near future, but the exact date has not been set.

Washington has accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons under the cover of civilian nuclear program and called for the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran if Tehran failed to halt uranium enrichment.

Iran has denied the charge and insisted on its right to peaceful nuclear technology.