This call was made by Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, during a meeting with the Foreign Minister Taliban, Amir Khan Muttaqi, last weekend.
“Afghan assets frozen by America should be used for humanitarian purposes and improving living conditions in Afghanistan,” Amirabdollahian was quoted as saying. Reuters on Monday (10/1).
“The courageous struggle of the Afghan people shows that no foreign force can occupy Afghanistan and rule there,” he added.
Afghanistan holds nearly US$9.5 billion in assets in the US central bank, the Federal Reserve.
Meanwhile in other European countries, such as the Bank for International Settlements, the country’s assets are estimated at US$1.3 billion (Rp18.5 trillion).
Since the Taliban took power in August, Western countries have suspended relations with Afghanistan, including aid flows and freezing of the country’s assets.
A high-ranking official at Afghanistan’s central bank, Shah Mehrabi, said Afghanistan’s financial situation was now increasingly desperate as the amount of cash on hand was decreasing.
Muttaqi even pleaded with the US to disburse Afghan assets to help the worsening humanitarian crisis in the country.
Despite supporting Muttaqi’s request, a spokesman from Iran’s Foreign Ministry emphasized that the visit of the Taliban Foreign Minister yesterday was not a sign of Tehran’s recognition of the Taliban regime.
Iran has even insisted that it has no intention of recognizing the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
In addition to meeting Muttaqi, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karima said Muttaqi also met with the Afghan National Resistance Front (NRF), Ahmad Massoud, who is currently in exile.
Karimi claimed the Taliban had convinced Massoud and other insurgent leaders that they could return to Afghanistan “without pressure”. However, he did not provide further details regarding this meeting.
Meanwhile, Massoud could not immediately be reached for comment. The NRF is one of the Taliban’s opposition that once controlled the Panjshir valley.
(pwn / rds)