Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has held talks with his
counterpart in Afghanistan, where he again sharply criticized the U.S.
mission to stabilize the country.
During a one-day visit to Kabul that briefly overlapped with U.S.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the Iranian president repeated his call
for American troops to leave Afghanistan, saying they will not bring
Earlier this week, Secretary Gates accused Iran of playing a "double
game" in Afghanistan by professing support for the Afghan government
while undermining U.S.-led efforts to improve the government and
stabilize the country.
Secretary Gates said Wednesday that Washington wants Afghanistan to
have good relations with its neighbors, but those countries should be
"up front" (forthright) when dealing with the Afghan government.
Mr. Ahmadinejad responded by accusing Washington of playing its own
"double game" by creating terrorism in Afghanistan and then declaring a
need to fight it.
Mr. Karzai on Wednesday thanked Iran for assisting his country over the
years and called the Islamic state a "real friend." He also said
Afghanistan does not want its territory to be used to harm any of its
An Afghan presidential spokesman said Mr. Karzai and Mr. Ahmadinejad
had planned to discuss joint projects such as building a railway
linking Iran and Tajikistan through Afghanistan.
Mr. Karzai later traveled to Islamabad Wednesday for two days of talks
with Pakistani leaders that are expected to focus on efforts to counter
the Taliban and allied militant networks in the region.