October 19th, 2010
04:13 PM ET

Iran joins talks and Petraeus briefing on Afghanistan

For the first time since the start of the war, an Iranian representative joined international talks on Afghanistan.

Iran's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Qanezadeh, attended the meeting Monday in Rome of the coordinating group of representatives for Afghanistan and Pakistan from more than 40 countries as well as the United Nations and European Union .

Mark Toner, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said Iran's presence at the meeting indicated that, as a neighbor of Afghanistan, Iran has "an interest in seeing a stable, prosperous, peaceful Afghanistan emerge."

"I'm not going to stand up here and say that it shows that they agree 100 percent with what we're doing in Afghanistan, what the international community is doing with Afghanistan," Toner said Tuesday. "But what I think it does point to is that there is a shared desire to see a stable Afghanistan in the future."

Qanezadeh, who is also the director of Asian affairs at Iran's foreign ministry, also attended a briefing by Gen. David Petraeus, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, according to two senior U.S. officials. Petraeus delivered what one senior official called a "fairly frank and in-depth" PowerPoint briefing on NATO's aims and strategy for transferring control to Afghan forces.

The official said that Qanezadeh was paying close attention during the briefing and that some of his statements were "very positive." Media reports from the talks in Rome have said that Qanezadeh called for a "holistic approach" to Afghanistan, including military, political and diplomatic aspects.

The group of special representatives for the region has expanded into the International Contact Group on Afghanistan. The grouping has been used discretely. For example, Japan and the United Kingdom coordinated a trust fund for reintegration.

Both U.S. officials said now that the group has a more formal mechanism for meeting, it is in a better position to engage Iran in a discussion of political issues in the region.

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Filed under: Daily Developments • Iran • Petraeus • Understanding Afghanistan
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Dindy.....

    Peace be with all !!!!!!

    October 21, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. Just another Joe

    What point? sounds like a load of gibberish to me.

    October 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. atal

    Murtaza ignore this idiot he has no support from anyone and posts this continual rubbish all the time.

    October 20, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Roy

    Interview with Maulavi Abdul Kabir, member of the Leadership Council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

    Q: Some times, we hear rumors claiming that the leadership of Taliban is engaged in peace talks with the Americans and the Kabul administration. They say, the talks were held first in a certain country, then in another given country. Moreover, media reports refer to your role that you have willingness to engage in peace negotiation. Who circulate these amours and what is their objective?

    A: No doubt, the Americans have faced defeat at the military field. All their stratagems have gone awry. Now the Americans and their allies are making efforts to have some gains in the diplomatic field. Therefore, they launch spurious efforts under the name of reconciliation and peace time and again. They are trying to produce some fabricated indications in order to give cosmetic leverage to their claims. They mention names of a few members of the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, saying, they have had contacts with them or at least, shown willingness to initiate negotiation. In fact, all these are futile propaganda of the invaders aimed at creating mistrust between the Muslims and the Mujahideen. You know the enemy have not produced any evidence despite many claims to indicate that the officials of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan were engaged in talks with them. Nor they are able to produce one. This explains that the talks have not taken place nor the officials of the Islamic Emirate are intending to engage in the talks.

    October 20, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Smith in Oregon

      Thanks Roy for the useful interview in helping to gain a more complete view and picture of the purported events in far away Afghanistan.

      I am of the opinion however that Pakistan holds a great deal of sway in regards to the Taliban's numbers, supplies and actions. Pakistan could really cut the Taliban's massive weapons, explosives and ammo supplies if they chose to and Pakistani's ISI appear to be deeply embedded with high level Taliban commanders.

      If Pakistan feels it is in their best interest for the Taliban fighters to move into peace treaty discussions with Afghanistan, I'm fairly certain that the Taliban commanders would take part in peace treaty meetings.

      What is entirely missing in Western Media discussions is a major point of contention, that being the Karzai Clan's massive Heroin exportation business. Pakistan and the Taliban are dead set against flooding the Middle East with Heroin and previously nearly entirely eradicated all Opium poppy fields across Afghanistan. I don't see the Taliban allowing those Opium poppy fields and the huge amounts of Heroin the CIA-Karzai clan is currently exporting out of Afghanistan to continue. All of that Heroin greatly spikes violence and crime around the world, including fueling Hundreds of Billions of dollars into the Chinese Triads and the Mexican Drug Cartel's who the Triad's partner with to smuggle that into America.

      October 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Smith in Oregon

    I feel the missing nations that have definite parts in the ongoing Afghanistan war are INDIA and PAKISTAN. High level representatives from both of those nations should be present and should be willing to fully and honestly abide by whatever the final treaty crafted contains.

    October 20, 2010 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Dindy.....

      Smith in Oregon ..Good post

      October 21, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. BSTeh

    For once, the American led campaign is heading in the right direction. A holistic approach taking into account the military, political and diplomatic considerations has a better chance of appeasing all protagonists. When they have more ownership of the peace proceedings, they are liable to make it work or risk making a mockery of themselves.

    The American official objectives of delivering liberation and human rights are not ignoble but they could have saved the ISAF a lot of grief if they had been less enamored with ground battles and then watch helplessly as the war slipped away from them.

    Bringing in the Iranians to the negotiating table has given the peace talks a huge measure of integrity and credibilty since it is widely known that the Iranians are anti-Americans and vice versa. For both parties to be willing to put their differences aside and work together for peace is irrefutable evidence of the sincerity and desire to bring peace and stability to the region.

    Way to go.

    October 20, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Dindy.....

      BSTeh good post

      October 21, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    It's quite a good sign indeed when Iran joins the peace talks. Hopefully the peace talks may finally get under way.

    October 19, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Smith in Oregon

    Yesterday, Zionist Israeli officials began openly and publicly to threaten the assassination of Iran's President Armadj. This Zionist speak action appears to be identical to the previous public orders to murder Yasser Arafat shortly before he was poisoned to death by a Israeli Mossad assassination team.

    Are the Zionist Apartheid nation of Israel so utterly stupid they think Iran wouldn't replace Armadj. with a heavy duty anti-Israeli firebrand? How many Americans in the Middle East would be murdered if a Israeli Mossad assassination team murdered the President of Iran? Likely quite a few, Lebanon would certainly respond against Israel as would China, Russia and North Korea. Does Israel think it would just sit on the bench thinking those nations wouldn't actively punish them?

    October 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Boy Smith are you trying to stir things up? Where the hell did you hear that conspiracy theory? Also Yassar Arafat was not poisoned to death, he died of natural causes!

      October 19, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Smith in Oregon

        Well Dan boy, those are Netanyahu's words in a CNN report on Ajad's recent visit to Lebanon (read the full article, CNN Middle East section). Israel has used such language in their public speeches PREVIOUSLY to signal to various Mossad Teams various actions. If you can read, there was a definite trail of similar public threats by Israeli officials against Arafat leading to Arafat's murder. Anyway Dan boy, go back to sleep. If you cannot read two articles by CNN on the same day and connect the dots, then you shouldn't spew what you are unable to understand.

        As stated I believe and feel it would be a MISTAKE for the Mossad to murder Iran's President who would certainly be replaced with a anti-Israeli hard-core firebrand, a large number of Americans would be killed across the Middle East as word leaked out about his murder and Lebanon would likely open up on nearby Israel. I would expect China and Russia to respond in some fashion against Israel also. It would be a costly mistake for Israel to off Ajad.

        October 20, 2010 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
      • Smith in Oregon

        Iran's president makes 1st state visit to Lebanon, CNN Oct. 13th.

        "The Iranian president's planned visit to areas in Lebanon bordering northern Israel has led some in Israel to call for military action."

        "It is our responsibility to stop anyone who publicly calls for our destruction," said Israeli Knesset member Arieh Eldad from the far-right National Union party.
        "That responsibility means us doing something and not waiting for the world to do something. If a situation arises in which Ahmadinejad is in the crosshairs of the IDF (Israel Defence Forces), he should be killed."

        As I had mentioned previously, I have seen this Zionist speak before directly leading to Arafat's death. Although Arafat's widow accepted a huge multi-million dollar bribe under the promise that many lives would be saved if she ordered that no autopsy was performed on Arafat's body, Yasar Arafat's personal physician for over 25 years who saw him suddenly decline had zero doubts he was poisoned by a Mossad assassination team just as the Mossad assassination team had attempted on another target in nearby Jordan who caught them and forced Israel to administer the antidote for.

        As I and several others discovered in the lead up to Yasar Arafat's assassination, there were a series of high level Israeli Official public announcement's calling for and alluding to the murder of Arafat one to two weeks prior to the poison being administered to him. I noted the sharp and very distinct change in the speeches and public releases. It appears others also did and there exists on the web a collection of those public releases green lighting Arafat's murder to those interested if they look for that.

        As in Arafat's case, I wouldn't be surprised if Israel released one or two more public media releases calling for the murder of Iran's President in green lighting that action. The current President of Iran has been very pro-civilian nuclear power Iran which the Israeli's have been stymied and unable to prevent. Unable to stop Iran's civilian commercial electrical power Nuclear Reactor from being actively placed 'on line', it appears the hard-line Zionists have turned their sights on Iran's President under some sad 'guise' of not losing face in the matter. Israel, that is a large mistake.

        October 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Reply to my comment on other blog pertaining to Barnebas.

      October 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Good post,Smith.Thank you.

      October 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jeno wagner

    gee, i wonder if Qanezadeh is going to post it on Wikileaks

    October 19, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      I doubt it,but even if he did,what harm would it do?

      October 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |