As the Taliban swept into Kabul, President Biden maintained that “there was only the cold reality of either following through on the agreement to withdraw our forces or escalating the conflict… American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves”. He went on to assert that “as we carry out this departure, we have made it clear to the Taliban: If they attack our personnel or disrupt our operation, the U.S. presence will be swift and the response will be swift and forceful… our current military mission will be short in time, limited in scope, and focused in its objectives: Get our people and our allies to safety as quickly as possible. And once we have completed this mission, we will conclude our military withdrawal”. The same day, President Raisi maintained that “the military defeat and the withdrawal of the U.S. from Afghanistan should become an opportunity to restore life, security and lasting peace in the country”. “Iran will work for establishing stability… [and] calls on all groups to reach a national agreement”, he added. Iran’s diplomatic spokesperson raised concerns over “a new wave of displaced people” and reaffirmed Iran’s “readiness to facilitate the resolution of the Afghan question through intra-Afghan, Afghan-owned dialogue, as well as to contribute to a regional consensus on Afghanistan”.
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