'Tehran provided Kabul $500 million'
Iran says it has provided its western neighbor Afghanistan with around half a billion dollars for its reconstruction during the past couple of years.
During a United Nations General Assembly meeting on Afghanistan on Thursday, head of Iranian Foreign Ministry's international economic and specialized organizations Mahmoud Barimani told delegates that Tehran has financed projects "aimed at rebuilding and reconstructing" Afghanistan, Press TV reported.
The Iranian official assistance to Kabul focuses on "infrastructure and capacity building," and have so far amounted to $500 million, Barimani further explained.
Iran "has a vital interest in a secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan at peace with itself and with its neighbors," he went on to say.
Therefore Tehran feels a recent troop increase in the country "does not help the situation" but only "adds to the degree of violence there."
"The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that instead of more deployments and establishing more security contractors in the country, foreign forces should leave the country," he noted.
"Afghanistan's security should be left at the hands of the country's Army and its police force," the Iranian envoy concluded.
US-led forces have stepped up attacks in Afghanistan under Washington's new war strategy, which aims to reduce its military presence next year.
There are more than 150,000 US-led foreign forces in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
More than 100,000 Afghans have been killed since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
The loss of civilian lives at the hand of foreign forces has led to a dramatic increase in anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan.