Iran, Taliban officials say US pushing war in Afghanistan

Iranian state TV says Iranian and Taliban officials have met in Tehran and are accusing the U.S. of provoking the continuation of war in Afghanistan

“The U.S. strategy supports the continuation of war and bloodshed among various Afghan groups in the political spectrum,” Shamkhani was quoted as saying. He said the U.S. tries to blame insecurity and instability in the country on individual Afghan groups.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S., which signed a peace agreement with the Taliban last February and met its goal this month of reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan to about 2,500.

Taliban representatives and the Afghan government earlier this month resumed peace talks in Qatar, the Gulf Arab state where the insurgents maintain an office. The stop-and-go talks are aimed at ending decades of conflict. But frustration and fear have grown over a recent spike in violence, and both sides blame one another.

Baradar, who arrived Monday with a Taliban delegation, criticized the U.S. for allegedly breaking its commitments to the February deal. He did not elaborate.

“We do not trust the U.S. and will fight any group that is a mercenary for the U.S.,” he said.

Occasionally, Iranian and Taliban officials meet for what Tehran says are talks aimed at helping facilitate intra-Afghan dialogue.