Iran says it opposes a security pact between Afghanistan and the United States. Iran's Foreign Ministry on December 3 asked Kabul not to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement with Washington.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rohani (Tehran, August 2013)
The security agreement could clear the way for the United States to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan after 2014.
Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said that Tehran did not consider the pact "useful for the long-term expedience and interests of Afghanistan."
She added that Iran views the deal as having "negative effects on the trend of regional issues."
The Iranian statement comes ahead of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's expected visit to Tehran next week.
Karzai has endorsed the deal but introduced new conditions before approving it.
He also wants to defer the signing of the agreement to his successor, who will be chosen in an April election.
Based on reporting by AFP and AP
Copyright (c) 2013 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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