Iranian officials are refusing to meet a special envoy from former Afghan monarch Mohammed Zahir Shah.
According to the centrist paper Entekhab, Zahir Shah’s envoy had requested a meeting with "high-ranking" Iranian officials. Iran is refusing because it would "weaken" the opposition Northern Alliance.
Since September 11, Iran has been in a difficult position. Iran has long opposed the Taliban, and recognizes the ousted Afghan government linked to the Northern Alliance. Tehran quickly condemned the September 11 attacks. But Tehran is also opposed to U.S. control in the Middle East, and has harshly criticized the U.S. for killing innocent civilians in its attacks on Afghanistan. Iranian leaders speak from bitter experience; the U.S. overthrew its democratic government in 1953.
- Ervand Abrahmian, Professor of History at CUNY