The Iranian authorities are communicating with the Taliban movement in Afghanistan despite not recognizing its government. Mohammad Sadeq Motamedian, governor of Iran’s Khorasan Razavi province, paid an official visit to the Taliban-appointed governor of Herat province, Abdul Qayyum Rohani.
Herat province is located in western Afghanistan on the border with Iran, and this is the first visit of an Iranian official to the eastern neighbor since the Taliban came to power on August 15.
Iranian state media highlighted this visit, and Iranian state TV quoted Motamedian as saying, “Given the special circumstances of the Afghan people, on this trip we will study the conditions of the people in this country, and in particular their needs for the most important humanitarian assistance. In order to carry out the required measures accordingly, it is necessary to closely monitor the transit situation between Afghanistan and Iran, especially the province of Khorasan Razavi, which has a 300-kilometer border with Afghanistan.”
The Dogaron border port, which is 18 km from the city of Taybad in the province of Khorasan Razavi in northeastern Iran, is one of the most important commercial border crossings with Afghanistan and is also a crossing for travelers.
Iran shares a long border with Afghanistan of 921 km, and it has three ports for the transit of commercial goods and travelers between the two countries. The volume of trade exchange between the two countries reached about $4 billion last year.
Meanwhile, the Iranian news agency Javan quoted Rohani as saying, “We (Iran and the Taliban) jointly defeated the enemy of Iran and Afghanistan (the United States),” adding that the Taliban established security checkpoints to secure the border between the two countries.
According to Iranian Fars news agency, Sher Ahmad Ammar, the Taliban’s deputy governor in Herat, vowed not to allow any terrorist threats against Iran from his country, which came during his meeting with the Iranian delegation from Khorasan Razavi.
Ammar added during the meeting that the Taliban abides by all international laws and the laws of good neighborliness and will never allow foreign individuals or groups such as ISIS to use Afghan territory against neighboring Iran.
Relations between the two sides worsened in early September following the attack launched by the Taliban on the Panjshir Valley, the last stronghold of the armed Tajik opposition in Afghanistan. Tehran strongly condemned this attack via its Foreign Ministry.
Tehran’s relations with the Taliban were turbulent and Iran never recognized the Taliban during the first period in which it ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, and relations between the two sides were tense at that time.