Afghan dispatches: “Iran has started direct negotiations with the Taliban and has now signed an agreement with them” – JURIST – News


EXCLUSIVE JURIST – Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan file reports with JURIST on the situation there after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. Here, a lawyer from Kabul offers his observations and take on recent developments, including a new Taliban deal with Iran on border, transport, trade and oil issues. For reasons of confidentiality and security, we retain the name and institutional affiliation of our correspondent. The text has only been slightly retouched to respect the author’s voice.

Passports and arrests of former officials

The passport service of the Ministry of the Interior has just resumed its activities after nearly a month. The Passport Department has announced that it has issued a number of passports close to 3K in a single day. Most people who apply for a passport and / or renew their previously issued passport are trying to leave the country. In order for anyone to receive a passport, applicants must go through a biometric authorization. Once the biometric authorization is complete, the applicant must pay the government fees and receive their passport accordingly. The problem with the biometric system is that it is integrated with other government systems and if a former government employee performs a biometric verification, their contact details will appear. Yesterday, two military officers from the former government were arrested by the Taliban after undergoing a biometric check at the passport department. This comes at a time when the Taliban will not harm any former government employee, whether military or civilian.

Public health

Public health centers lack drugs and medical instruments. Medicines and medical equipment have been provided by the international community over the past two decades to the country. After Afghanistan fell under Taliban control, nearly 2,000 public health centers were closed. This was due to the lack of sufficient assistance from donors. In addition, many medical workers, including doctors and nurses, have left the country and / or attempted to leave it. Due to the closure of public health centers as well as the lack of medical equipment and medicines, many people come to Kabul from other provinces for treatment. However, hospital facilities and drugs are no longer sufficient to provide medical services to the public.

Agreements with Iran

While countries still have not recognized the Taliban government and many are watching them to see how they respect human rights and the values ​​acquired over the past 20 years, Iran has entered into direct negotiations with the Taliban and has now signed an agreement with them. Iranian officials have met with Taliban leaders on several occasions in Herat and Kabul.

Mohammad Sadeq – mayor of Khurasan Razawi in Iran – met with the governor of Herat and discussed issues of trade and transit, transport, oil and gas, construction, etc. between Iran and the Taliban government. The Taliban spokesman confirms that some agreements are being made to develop economic relations and facilitate business with Iran.

An agreement has 16 articles and regulates issues related to border / port regulation, trade and transit, establishment of gas pipeline, iron mines of Afghanistan, etc. According to the agreement, Duqarun and Islam Qala’s borders with Iran are expected to remain active 24/7. . In addition, the agreement mentions that a gas pipeline will be established from Duqarun to the Islam Qala border. The Taliban say construction work on this pipeline will begin soon.

These additional provisions are included in this Agreement:

1. Representatives of the Taliban will soon meet the Iranian Oil Ministry
2. Iran and Taliban government to start road construction at Duqarun and Islam Qala port in the coming month
3. To determine the tariffs on goods traded between countries, there will be joint committees made up of technical officials to study these goods and determine the tariffs on them.
4. A joint committee will be established to study the challenges at Duqarun and the Port of Islam and see solutions for them.
5. The Iranian side will behave well with the Afghan drivers and ensure their safety and security.
6. Iranian officials from the Ministry of Urban Development will travel to Afghanistan to discuss the establishment of a railway in Afghanistan.
7. The transit of dried fruits from Iran will be facilitated.
8. Iran will cooperate with Afghanistan in the health sectors.

Iran and Afghanistan have more than 900 kilometers of common border in which some of the largest Afghan ports and customs are located.

I believe Iran is looking for opportunities to sell its oil and gas to Afghanistan as it is sanctioned in the international market. Iran has also suffered from conscription over the past two years, particularly in the provinces bordering Afghanistan. The Salma dam in Herat posed many challenges for Iran as it prevented water from entering Iran last year.

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