The United States offered to release blocked funds to the Taliban in exchange for the Taliban “destabilizing the border,” according to accusations from a top Iranian official.

In an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Iran’s Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Hassan Kazemi Qomi accused the U.S. Biden administration of seeking to increase tensions on the border between Tehran and the Taliban.

Qomi accompanied Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian during a three-day visit to Pakistan last week, where issues with the Taliban were discussed.

“Due to the long borders that we have with Afghanistan, the enemies are trying to create insecurity from this direction,” Qomi claimed in the IRNA interview, noted the Tehran Times.

“Yesterday’s occupiers are trying to create new shenanigans in this country under a new disguise,” he alleged, saying the U.S. is trying to “manage Afghanistan’s foreign relations.”

In the interview, Qomi further claimed that the U.S. offered “blocked funds” as an incentive, saying, “They use the blocked money of Afghanistan as a tool and lever for exerting pressure.”

Qomi said “the continuation of instability in Afghanistan is important” to America because of “its neighbors.”

The Tehran Times claims a source informed them that Washington had offered to release $7 billion of frozen Afghan funds in exchange for an unspecified Taliban destabilization effort.

The offer reportedly came during talks between the U.S. and the Taliban in Qatar last week, allegedly the first official talks between the parties since August 2021.

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs reconstructed a “readout” of the meeting where spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi says the Taliban requested that “bank reserves be unfrozen so that Afghans can establish an economy unreliant [sic] on foreign aid.”

Border clashes over water rights have taken place between the Taliban and Iran several times this year. Iran is keen to prevent a flare-up of tensions to avoid a situation similar to Aug. 8, 1998, when Taliban forces killed 11 Iranian diplomats and a journalist.

Iran has continued to demand water according to the Helmand-River Water Treaty signed in 1973 between the Shah’s government and Afghanistan.

The region is currently experiencing a drought, which has severely affected Iran’s Hamoun Wetland in the Sistan and Baluchestan provinces.

Recent reports of the Taliban deploying suicide bombers to the area have increased tensions.

Last month, suicide bombers from the Pakistan-Taliban, an ally of the Taliban in Afghanistan, carried out an attack in Pakistan, killing two police officers and wounding 15.

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