AISS organized webinar on Afghanistan Peace Talks: Perspectives and Obstacles

Posted on: 27-09-2020

On Sunday, September 27, 2020, the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) in collaboration with Radio Nowruz, Iranian Peace Studies Scientific Association, and Allameh Tabataba'i University of Tehran held a webinar on "Afghanistan Peace Talks: Perspectives and Obstacles". This webinar was accompanied by Mohammad Reza Bahrami, Iran's former ambassador to Afghanistan and Dr. Davood Moradian, director general of Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS). The event was moderated by Dr. Amir Hoshang Mirkoushesh, faculty member of Iran Azad University.

At the beginning of his remarks, Dr. Moradian said that the Afghan conflict is a century-old issue that its context should be examined and analyzed in the framework of the state-building process in Afghanistan. He said that there are four strong trends in the process of state-building in Afghanistan which have prevented us from achieving a modern and independent government. These trends are: 1) the ethnic trend that has been prominent and strong so far, 2) religious trend, 3) progressive and modernity-oriented trend, and 4) external geopolitics influences in Afghanistan. The main problem is that the four trends have always been occurring contrendly. Thus, the Afghan conflict is a conflict over the creation of a modern state whose identity is controversial. He also referred to the recent peace agreement between the Taliban and the United States, saying that the agreement represents only two trends without any outlook on the two other ones, and this in itself leaves the peace settlement as an incompetent negotiation.

In his remarks, Mohammad Reza Bahrami pointed out that peace in Afghanistan is not a choice but a compulsion, both for Afghanistan and neighboring countries. He further stated that in his view, the geopolitical trend is a more prominent conflict in Afghanistan, as the regional and trans-regional dimensions will be more influential. He said that if the Afghan people are the first winner in establishing peace and stability, the Islamic Republic of Iran will be the second winner due to the three million Afghan refugees in Iran and also the smuggling of a large amount of narcotics from Afghanistan. He also pointed out that the Islamic Republic of Iran has adopted a policy of non-interference in Afghanistan for two decades, and has not included Afghanistan as a buffer in its conflictual interest with other countries.