Afghanistan may mediate in US-Iran nuclear row | india | Hindustan Times
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Afghanistan may mediate in US-Iran nuclear row

Afghanistan has repeated an offer to mediate between the United States and Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme.

india Updated: May 16, 2006 15:45 IST

Afghanistan on Tuesday repeated an offer to mediate between the United States and Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme, officials said.

The offer, first made by foreign minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta in an interview with a German newspaper this week, comes as President Hamid Karzai is expected to visit Iran later this month.

The exact date of the visit was not yet certain, Karzai's spokesman Karim Rahimi told reporters.

"Afghanistan has always supported the idea of removing tensions in the region and the rest of the world through dialogue, negotiations and discussions," Rahimi told a weekly press conference in Kabul.

"Therefore, Afghanistan is ready to mediate between the United States and the brotherly country of Iran," he said.

The United States has nearly 20,000 troops in Afghanistan, which shares a 900-kilometre (500-mile) border with Iran.

The United States is leading pressure to force Iran to halt its nuclear programme.

Despite tensions, Kabul maintains good ties with Tehran.

"We are ready to play a positive role in this regard," Rahimi said.

First Published: May 16, 2006 15:45 IST