Afghanistan will be US` new Vietnam: Iran speaker

Iran Parliament speaker says Afghanistan will never submit to foreign armies.

Geneva: Afghanistan will become a new Vietnam for the United States as it was repeating the same mistakes made in Indochina, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said in an interview.

"The Americans will have the same success in Afghanistan as in Vietnam," he told French-language Swiss television on Wednesday, a day after an international donors` conference in Kabul.

"Years ago, the Soviet Union made exactly the same mistake. Many many people were killed and it finally pulled out," he said. "History repeats itself. We know Afghanistan. We know that Afghanistan will never submit to foreign armies."

Also yesterday, a senior commander of Iran`s elite Revolutionary Guards warned that the United States and General David Petraeus, who took over command of 140,000 US and NATO troops in Afghanistan on July 4, would be engulfed by "terror" in Afghanistan.

"The presence of Petraeus in Afghanistan will increase terrorism and seal the expansion of American failures" in the war-ravaged country, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri was quoted as saying on the website of the Guards.

Petraeus faces a tough task to bring peace to the nation and secure a face-saving exit for allied troops fighting an increasingly deadly insurgency by the Taliban Islamists.

Jazayeri`s remarks came a day after Iran`s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that a US-led surge of troops into Afghanistan had failed to bring stability or defeat the Taliban.

Washington has in the past accused Tehran of providing low-level help to some militants in Afghanistan, but the former US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, said in May that most of Tehran`s role was legitimate.

Larijani, who was in Geneva for a meeting of parliament speakers organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an international organisation of parliaments, also slammed UN Security Council sanctions designed to stop Tehran`s capacity to finance its nuclear programme and deepen its isolation.

He said Iran would take counteraction if Iranian ships or planes were searched.

"If an Iranian plane or ship is inspected by another country, it can expect counteraction or similar measures against it," he said.


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