Iran denounced U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent comments about being able to demolish Afghanistan in ten days if he wanted to win the war as “racist and unacceptable.”
Tehran’s condemnation comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the United States. Trump–imposed American sanctions that have crippled the Islamic Republic’s economy are mainly fueling the strained relationship between Iran and the United States.
On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi blasted Trump for saying at a press conference Monday that he could wipe Afghanistan “off the face of the earth” if he wanted to win the war against the Taliban and other jihadis in the country, the state-run Tasnim News Agency indicated.
Mousavi described the comments as “racist and unacceptable,” adding that they threaten international peace and security.
“Iran sides with the resistant nation and the government and intellectuals of the brotherly and neighboring country of Afghanistan,” he added.
During a joint press conference at the White House with Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, Trump declared:
If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people. … I have plans on Afghanistan that, if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth. It would be gone. It would be over in — literally, in ten days. … I don’t want to go that route. So we’re working with Pakistan and others to extricate ourselves [from Afghanistan].
Trump has made similar comments about Iran, saying a conflict with the Islamic Republic “wouldn’t last very long.”
On Tuesday, Kabul demanded “clarification” of Trump’s remarks. Iran borders Afghanistan.
TRT World, a Turkish outlet, warned this week that Afghanistan might be helping the Islamic Republic weather the storm of the U.S. sanctions. Currently, Afghanistan is the source of “hundreds of thousands” of American dollars illegally smuggled across its border with Iran. The United States has issued sanction waivers to Afghanistan and a few other countries, including India, to allow them to continue essential trade with the Islamic Republic.
Despite the exceptions, U.S. sanctions have reportedly undermined trade and business in the region, affecting India’s Chabahar port project in Iran.
The Trump administration has imposed an unprecedented number of sanctions on Iran as part of its maximum pressure campaign. Trump’s approach is expected to pressure the Islamic Republic onto the negotiating table to hash out a difference nuclear pact.
Trump pulled the United States out of the controversial 2015 agreement between Iran and U.S.-led world powers, arguing that it wasn’t tough enough.
Iran remains defiant despite feeling the pinch from the crippling U.S. sanctions.
On Wednesday, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), “rejected the notion of any possible negotiation between [Tehran] and the US administration,” Tasnim notes.
The top Iranian official reportedly described negotiations with a country that does not comply with any of its obligations, as “absurdity and a sign of weakness and frustration.”