South Asia News
Britain condemns Iran's failure to attend Afghan conference
Jan 28, 2010, 17:04 GMT
London - Britain Thursday criticized as 'deeply regrettable and inexplicable' Iran's decision not to attend the international Afghanistan conference in London.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he had invited his Iranian counterpart, Mottaki Manouchehr, because Tehran had in the past expressed an interest in 'the dangers of conflict' and in their resolutions.
'We think it's deeply regrettable as well as inexplicable that they failed to attend,' Miliband told an international news conference.
He said Iran's ambassador to London had also rejected the invitation to join some 70 other nations at the conference.
Miliband said it was 'very important in international relations that countries say what they mean and mean what they say. We meant it when we said we wanted them (Iran) to attend. ... They have said they want to play a positive and constructive role in Afghanistan.'
'Many countries will draw their own conclusions about the dissonance between the words and the deeds. They are not the victims of other people's conspiracy, they are the authors of their own misfortune,' said Miliband.
The Foreign Ministry in Tehran Wednesday said Manouchehr would not attend because the conference focused on military action rather than exploring the roots of Afghanistan's problems.
'The conference will again focus on more military actions in Afghanistan instead of exploring the roots of the problems and using regional potential to solve them,' Fars news agency quoted a spokesman as saying.
'Iran considers the continuation of previous (Western) policies in Afghanistan as not constructive and therefore the conference itself as not useful either,' the spokesman added.