September 27, 2022

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Iran remembers diplomats martyred in Mazar-i-Sharif, renews call for inclusive govt in Afghanistan

TEHRAN — Iran’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement early on Monday marking the anniversary of the killing of Iranian diplomats in Mazar-i-Sharif.

On August 8, 1998, the Taliban forces occupied the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which was known as the political capital of Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was backed by Iran at the time.

After occupying the city, Taliban soldiers forced their way into the Iranian Consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, frisking diplomats.

Allahmadad Shahsavand, the only Iranian diplomat who miraculously survived the terrorist attack, recounted the incident as the following: “Despite their rude behavior, our friends (diplomats) behaved peacefully. They even offered them fruit and tea. The Taliban militants searched us all and took our money and valuables. However, I believe that these people were not thieves and were acting within a certain framework, as if they were being guided from outside and looking for something specific,” ISNA said.

Nevertheless, Taliban said that rebels attacked the Iranian consulate, avoiding any responsibility.

The following is the statement issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry:

“August 8 brings to mind the very bitter memories that were imposed on the foreign policy apparatus of Iran and the Iranian nation in 1998.

24 years ago, and at the height of internal strife in Afghanistan and following the entry of Taliban forces into the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, and contrary to ethical, humanitarian and international obligations, our country’s mission in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif was attacked and diplomats and a journalist of the Islamic Republic of Iran were martyred.

The widespread condemnation of the crime by the international community and also the memorable empathy and sympathy of the dignified people of Afghanistan was a unique show of the solidarity of the peoples of both countries and led to the Islamic Republic of Iran to stand with its brothers and sisters in Afghanistan honorably and to support their will while showing restraint.

The people and government of the Islamic Republic of Iran have always stood by the oppressed people of Afghanistan. Iran supports any solution that leads to lasting peace, stability and calm for the people of this country and safeguards their years-long fight against foreign occupation while protecting the achievements of the bloods of the dear martyrs of Afghanistan.

Past experience shows, today, the formation of a government comprised of all Afghan elites, who represent all tastes and all esteemed tribes of this country, that leads to a sense of belonging to that government by the people of Afghanistan can pave the way for a suffering Afghanistan to move toward development, progress and prosperity and increase the power of its people against the oppressive pressure and sanctions of the West.

The Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran once against commemorates the memory of the dear martyrs of the Mazar-i-Sharif incident and condemns the unforgettable crime, while reiterating the necessity of clarification of its different dimensions as a firm demand by the country.

The concurrence of this terrorist incident with the Ashura of Imam Hussein (AS) this year is an opportunity to pray for divine mercy and blessing for all martyrs, especially the oppressed martyrs of the terrorist incident in Mazar-i-Sharif.”

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