In a recent Twitter post, Fida Hossein Maliki, Member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament, called out Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for its role in the Panjshir offensive as well as the formation of the Taliban’s cabinet. Maliki said that Iran seeks peace, stability and the formation of an “inclusive” government in Afghanistan.
The Iranian MP directly accused ISI Chief Faiz Hameed of his direct involvement in coordinating the Taliban’s offensive in Panjshir against the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan. Maliki also alleged that the ISI chief was involved in the formation of the Taliban’s cabinet.
ISI Chief Faiz Hameed travelled to Afghanistan on an unannounced visit a few days ago where he met with Mullah Ghani Baradar, the de facto Taliban leader, and other leaders amidst the Taliban’s efforts to finalize a government as there were reports of discord between the Haqqani network and the Taliban for key positions. The Taliban spokesperson said that the Pakistani spymaster was in Kabul to “improve bilateral relations” between the two countries, but many suspected that the Hameed was there to put Pakistan’s stamp on the newfound Taliban government.
The Foreign Ministry of Iran had condemned the Taliban’s offensive in Panjshir and said that it will not tolerate any “foreign intervention” in Iran without naming any foreign actors. Saeed Khatibzada, the spokesperson for the Iranian foreign ministry, said that the Taliban will have to oblige to international law and carry out their responsibilities accordingly.
This was the first time Iran had criticized the Taliban after the group established themselves at the helm in a lightning-fast campaign.