TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The defense ministers of Iran and Afghanistan called for efforts to enhance bilateral and regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism given the relocation of terrorist groups from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan.

In a telephone conversation on Sunday, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami and his Afghan counterpart General Tariq Shah Bahrami discussed ways to boost cooperation between the two neighbors in tackling terrorism.

Peace in Afghanistan requires the positive stance of all regional countries, the Iranian minister said, stressing that collective capacities should be used to combat terrorism and ensure calm in Afghanistan.

Brigadier General Hatami also decried Washington for creating the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, saying the failure of hostile plots in those two countries has forced the US to transfer Daesh militants to Afghanistan in order to justify its military presence there. 

For his part, the Afghan minister stressed the need for vigilance in countering the common enemies and for close cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

Above 20 terrorist groups are now active in Afghanistan, General Bahrami added, saying inaction against such criminals would lead to severe crises in the region.

Iran has always called for concerted action by regional countries in the fight against terrorism, and has launched security and intelligence cooperation with its neighbors to counter terrorist operations, particularly along border areas.

In June 2017, Iran and Afghanistan held the first round of talks on a comprehensive strategic partnership document as part of efforts to boost bilateral relations in various areas, including security, defense, economy, culture, and education.

More than 130 people have been killed in Afghanistan in four terrorist attacks over the past two weeks.

In the deadliest attack on January 27, claimed by the Taliban, more than 100 people were killed in Kabul. It came a week after militants stormed a Kabul hotel and killed scores in a 12-hour standoff. In a separate attack on January 29, five militants targeted a military base in Kabul and killed 11 people.