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Afghan Vice-Speaker Stresses Expansion of All-Out Ties with Iran

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, June 20 (ICANA) – Vice-Speaker of Afghanistan's parliament Ahmad Behzad praised the Islamic Republic of Iran for its continued aids and supports for the Afghan nation, and stressed that Kabul is deeply eager to develop relations with Tehran in all the different grounds.
Monday, June 20, 2011 7:59:32 PM
Afghan Vice-Speaker Stresses Expansion of All-Out Ties with Iran

"The worthy services of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Afghanistan's reconstruction process are not hidden to anyone and the Afghan people are honored to have big neighbors with abundant capacities in different fields, specially in areas of development, road-construction and drug control," Behzad said in a meeting with Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in Tehran on Monday.

He also underlined the necessity for the reinvigoration of the two countries' relations in the different political, parliamentary, cultural and economic spheres, and asked the Iranian parliament to provide Afghanistan with its valuable legislative experiences.

Iran is one of the most important donors to Afghanistan which has kept its promises and helped to the reconstruction of the war-hit country.

Iran has built several roads, power transmission lines, and border stations, among other infrastructural projects.

Also Iran hosts over one million illegal Afghan refugees, while the Islamic Republic has received little international support.

Tehran has called on the international community to strengthen support for Iran for hosting Afghan refugees and help and support their repatriation to their homeland.

Voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Iran has slowed in recent years in the face of poor security and economic conditions in Afghanistan, which Tehran blames on the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

Iran also maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has undergone a 40-fold increase since the US-led invasion.

While Afghanistan produced only 185 tons of opium per year under the Taliban, according to the UN statistics, since the US-led invasion, drug production has surged to 3,400 tons annually. In 2007, the opium trade reached an estimated all-time production high of 8,200 tons.

Afghan and western officials blame Washington and NATO for the change, saying that allies have "overlooked" the drug problem since invading the country 10 years ago.

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