Friday, December 17, 2010
Publish date: October 26 • Printable version    

Iranian parliament wants report on financial aid to Afghanistan

Iranian parliament

Seven Iranian Members of Parliament have summoned the foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, to the parliament over the issue of cash payouts from Iran to the office of the Afghan president.

Iranian media reported that the reformist MPs have already posed questions regarding these payouts and demanded to know who authorized them.

The MPs have also demanded a complete report of the “amounts of financial aid paid out to Afghanistan in the past five years from Iran.”

According to Iranian law, the foreign minister has ten days to respond to these inquiries.

Last Sunday, the New York Times reported that head of Afghan president’s office has been receiving cash payouts from Iranian ambassador in Kabul.

Iranian embassy in Kabul first denied the report but Hamid Karzai later confirmed the report and added that the exchanges have been completely legal.

In a statement given during his trip to Tajikistan, Hamid Karzai denied New York Times allegations that the money was exchanged illegally and was aimed at stretching Iranian influence in Afghanistan.

He claimed Iran extends about 500 to 700 thousand euros once or twice a year which is spent for administrative costs.

Karzai stressed that Mohammad Omar Davoudzi, head of his office and former Afghan ambassador to Iran, received the money by his orders and will continue to do so.

Iranian spokesman for the foreign ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast announced today that aid to Afghanistan started at the time of Mohammad Khatami Iran’s former president and has continued up to now.

Philip Crowley, spokesman for the US foreign ministry said that while he does not want to question Iranian financial aid to Afghanistan, but he believes that Afghans should be able to build their future without pressures from its neighbouring countries.

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