Iran urges enhanced international trade with Afghanistan

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Iran’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations (UN) has urged the international community to enhance its economic ties with Afghanistan toward remedying the country’s woes.

Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Gholam-Ali Khoshroo said on Monday that the Afghan government is simultaneously tackling economic complications and fighting on the frontline of the battle against Taliban and recently Daesh, too.

The Islamic Republic believes it is incumbent upon the international community to assist the Afghan National Unity Government on both fronts, added Khoshroo, who was speaking during a debate at the UN Security Council on the situation in the Central Asian country.

The development of the economic relations between Afghanistan and the rest of the world is both an international obligation and an effectual approach toward ensuring peace, stability, and security in the country, he said.

Tehran, he said, has always taken steps to that effect, such as completing or helping complete infrastructural projects like the Chabahar Port project in southern Iran.

In May, Iran, India, and Afghanistan signed a key trilateral deal, known as the Chabahar Agreement, to establish a strategic transit and transport route connecting the three countries, centering on the port city.

Also among such projects were the establishment of the railway linking the Khaf County in the Iran’s North Khorasan Province to the city of Herat in eastern Afghanistan, Khoshroo said.

He asked all regional players to join such cooperative projects.

The Iranian envoy also said that the farming of narcotics, which serves as a key source of income for terrorist groups and which presents a social predicament, had witnessed a 43-percent increase in Afghanistan. “The international community has to concentrate its efforts on reversing this trend and propounding alternatives to turn an economy that feeds warfare into a sustainable one.”

Iran and Afghanistan have engaged in remarkable cooperation in the area of confronting the drug trade, Khoshroo said, adding that the Islamic Republic continues to host thousands of Afghan refugees and even render services to illegal immigrants.

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