Serbia Iran
Darko Vojinovic  /  AP
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says the U.S. "has to accept that for the past seven years it has led wrong policies in Afghanistan."
updated 3/6/2009 5:37:28 PM ET 2009-03-06T22:37:28

Iran is weighing a U.S. invitation to a high-level conference on Afghanistan, its foreign minister said Friday.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told Serbian state TV that, "I'm not saying that we will attend, but that we are considering whether to attend."

Mottaki said during a visit to Belgrade that Iran would announce its decision during a visit by Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini to Tehran this month.

"Our strategy is the return of peace and stability in Afghanistan," Mottaki said, adding that Washington is to blame for the region's deteriorating security.

International efforts in Afghanistan have had limited contributions from Iran in recent years. President Barack Obama has expressed interest in a broad warming of bilateral relations. The Obama administration is reformulating its strategy in Afghanistan, where Taliban violence is dramatically rising.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed the session, which could be held at the end of the month.

The U.S. "has to accept that for the past seven years it has led wrong policies in Afghanistan," Mottaki said.

"If now, in 2009, you would ask any Afghan if the security situation is better now, he would say no," Mottaki said. "If you would ask him if there is less extremism, he would say there is more. He would also say that there are more drugs in Afghanistan than before."

"Who has led the military operations in Afghanistan? That one has to take the consequences," he said, referring to the U.S.-led coalition.

The United States and Iran have cooperated on Afghanistan before, with promising contacts following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and held inconclusive talks that the United States had hopes would improve security and stability in Iraq.

Mottaki was in Belgrade to help negotiate a free trade agreement with Serbia to boost economic cooperation between the two countries.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments