Western countries are launching efforts to use Iran's regional influence to help stabilize neighboring Afghanistan. U.S. military chief Admiral Michael Mullen, U.S. Middle East and Central Asia Commander General David Petraeus, and NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer have been calling for Iran's help in Afghanistan.
The European Union also announced on Wednesday that Iran will be invited to an EU-Asia meeting on Afghanistan in the spring.
Tehran was absent from a similar meeting in December.
Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday that Iran is among countries in Central Asia that could help bring stability to Afghanistan, AFP reported.
A resolution in Afghanistan requires "a regional approach ... that includes Pakistan, India the Central Asian states and even China and Russia, along with perhaps, at some point Iran," Petraeus said.
Iran has born the brunt of insecurity in Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion of the country in 1979. After the invasion, millions of Afghan refugees flooded into Iran, creating many social and economic problems for the country.
Moreover, the drug produced in Afghanistan is mostly trafficked to Iran,
causing a major headache for the society. So far, hundreds of Iranian servicemen
have been killed in the fight against drug traffickers.
Since the fall of Taliban regime in 2001 drug production has increased greatly in Afghanistan.
... Payvand News - 01/29/09 ... --