Afghanistan’s relations with its neighbors and other countries in the world redefined after the fall of Taliban and diplomatic trips began when Hamid Karzai came to power.
Iran is a country that has a lot of cultural, linguistic and ethnic ties with Afghanistan, as a result, they both have a great mutual influence on each other, but the political, cultural and economic effects have been more unilateral and completely imported from Iran since the formation of Jihad and the regulatory wars in the country.
The trips that Hamid Karzai had to Iran were of a different kind, they were more ceremonial and diplomatic. Iran has more to offer advice on the presence of foreigners, specially U.S troops, and from Afghanistan side, it was just in two cases, about immigrants and the assistance of the Islamic Republic of Iran in rebuilding the country.
President Ghani has traveled to Iran twice so far, since the establishment of national unity government. Once in 2014, and the other time during Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration.
The question that why the two trips of Mr. Ghani is different and what issues have been posed in the two visits that were not raised in the ex-president’s trips. The summary is in this article, which is being discussed as far as possible.
On the first visit of president Ghani to Iran, a new anti-terrorism coalition led by Saudi Arabia was formed, later Afghanistan had announced its support from that coalition too. A decision that followed internal criticism in political parties too. The Afghan government backed Arabia’s stance – that is a traditional rival of Iran in the Middle East – on Yemen war and the coalition’s military action led by Arabia that the outcome was not so good.
Besides these, the Islamic Republic of Iran has an influence on a wide range of politicians, cultural and religious people, and can put pressure on Afghan government positions.
On the internal dimension, the government headed by Mr. Ghani is keen on ethnic policies and monopolistic power. He tries to have the power in particular circle, a circle that has a tendency toward the West which is of concern of Iran.
The president now needs Iran’s help, both in confronting ISIS/ISIL, forcing the Taliban to negotiate and to calm the inflamed political climate in the country.
Now in contrast to the era of Hamid Karzai, the national unity government has turned to various policies and that backs the positions of the Islamic Republic’s rivals, despite Iran’s influence in the country, it should have to do a lot with the hegemony of Iran and must pay hefty risks at the internal level.
Another point which is interesting to the media, in the recent visit of the president to Tehran to participate in the inauguration of Hassan Rouhani, is the cold welcome by Iranian officials, cold up to the point that raped it up by an ambassador. It seems that Mr. Ghani’s westernized policies did not attract the Iranian administration as well not having regional victory.
Perhaps in return from Tehran, Mr. Ghani whispered with himself that “those were the days, Hamid Karzai was saying good things and hearing good things in his trip to Iran” or maybe the sweet memories that Karzai had described to him in his visit from Iran and drinking “flixweed and barberry juice” with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, planted a big regret in his heart.
Zaher Shokoohmand – (DID) news agency
Translated by: Taher Mojab