Taliban dispute Iran’s claims of Daesh leaders relocating to Afghanistan

The Taliban’s foreign ministry has rejected Iran’s claims that Daesh leaders and fighters recently moved to Afghanistan from Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in an interview with the ISNA news agency that “leaders and trained forces” of Daesh have moved to Afghanistan from Iraq, Syria, and parts of Libya in recent months.

Amir-Abdollahian added that the issue remains one of the challenges that the Taliban face in Afghanistan.

Taliban foreign ministry’s spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi, however, rejected the claims, stating that the Taliban has “meticulously fought against Daesh” and has neutralized “the destructive capability of the group.”

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Balkhi called on Tehran to share intelligence about the ISIS members moving to Afghanistan so that the Taliban forces “can take necessary actions.”

“Afghanistan does not share a border with the mentioned Arab countries. Instead of shifting responsibility to others, countries should fulfill their international obligations regarding the security of their borders,” Balkhi said.

He also reiterated that the Taliban will not allow anyone to threaten Afghanistan’s security and “use our territory against others.”

“The Iranian officials should rather focus on constructive economic, political, and social relations between the two neighboring and friendly peoples and countries instead of raising false alarms about Afghanistan,” Balkhi said.

Despite the Taliban’s claims, Daesh has carried out dozens of attacks across Afghanistan after the Taliban swept into power in 2021.

Two senior Taliban officials – including the Balkh governor and Badakhshan’s acting governor – were killed in Daesh bombings earlier this year.

Meanwhile, a leaked classified document from the Pentagon this year also revealed that Afghanistan has become a significant coordination site for Daesh, from where the terrorist group plans attacks across Europe and Asia and conducts “aspirational plotting” against the United States.