TEHRAN - Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said that the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan has contributed to more instability in the country rather than leading to peace and security, the English language satellite Press TV reported on Sunday. "The presence of Americans in every part of the world has not contributed to security," said Iran's defense minister in a Press TV interview on Saturday.
"The Americans claim that they are maintaining security in Afghanistan, but they have acted in the opposite way," Vahidi was quoted as saying.
"More than 10 years have passed since the presence of the U.S. forces and we have seen the further deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan," he said.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai said Saturday that Afghanistan wants fully equipped army including F-16 fighters "in return to strategic ties with the United States."
Washington and Kabul have been negotiating over strategic relations for several months. In order to get national endorsement on the proposed strategic relations, Afghan government has to convene the traditional Grand Assembly of tribal elders, chieftains and parliamentarians in the coming months. (Xinhua)