“Iran was invited…Sometimes their relations with the United States which [are] under a lot of tension at the moment, those things affect their decisions [of] participating in a conference or not,” Abdullah said in an interview with Voice of America this week.
He said however that despite their absence from the event, Iran supported the peace process.
Abdullah also said Tehran had “legitimate concerns” and “legitimate interests” in Afghanistan adding that Iran’s contacts with various Taliban groups could be used to advance peace efforts.
This comes after US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, told a Washington-based research group, the United States Institute of Peace, last week that US-Iran relations were getting in the way of Iran cooperating with Afghanistan’s peace process.
“Iran would like to keep us entangled in a conflict without winning or losing but paying a high price until there is an agreement between the US and Iran,” he said.
Iran refuted the claims but deputy foreign minister for political affairs, Abbas Araghchi, said at the time Iran questioned the US’ intentions in Afghanistan.
“We believe that the US should not be trusted and that the US presence in the region is dangerous and will cause a lot of discord in the region,” said Araghchi.