KABUL: Relations between Afghanistan and Iran have been strained by Kabul's strategic pact with the United States, officials said Tuesday, charging that Tehran has harassed Afghan diplomats in recent weeks.
And in parliament, lawmakers warned Iran to end its "interference" in Afghanistan's internal affairs over the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed last week by President Hamid Karzai and US President Barack Obama.
Tehran's ambassador had urged some members of parliament not to vote for the deal, said Abdul Rahoof Ibrahimi, the speaker of the lower house, or Wolosi Jirga.
Afghan diplomats in the Iranian capital Tehran have been "constantly intimidated" since the deal with the United States was signed, a senior government official told AFP. "They are being chased by Iranian security forces all over the place. Their movements have been restricted," the official said, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
"This is all to do with the (US-Afghan) strategic pact. They are unhappy," the official said.
Foreign ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai acknowledged "problems" faced by Afghan embassy staff in Tehran, saying his ministry was investigating the situation. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast publicly denounced the Afghan-US agreement at the weekend.
The strategic partnership agreement covers relations between Washington and Kabul for 10 years after most US troops pull out of the country in 2014, leaving the fight against Taliban Islamists to Afghan security forces. It states that the United States will not use its presence in Afghanistan to launch offensive actions against neighbouring states, but leaves open the option of retaliation in the event of threats to Afghanistan.