Afghan Taliban reportedly sends delegation to Iran for talks

AP

Tehran A semi-official Iranian news agency says Tehran has hosted a delegation of the Afghan Taliban, the radical Sunni group that has long been a sworn enemy of Iran's ruling Shiite clerics.

The Fars agency reported on Saturday that the Taliban held talks with Iranian intelligence officials.

Fars says the visitors came from the Taliban's political office in Qatar. The group recently opened a mission in the Gulf Arab country to provide a venue where Afghan President Hamid Karzai's emissaries could hold talks with the Taliban to try to find a peaceful end to the 12-year war in Afghanistan.

CBS News' Mukhtar Ahmad reports that the Taliban confirmed sending a delegation to Iran for a three-day visit in a statement Monday. The statement said the delegation was sent after an official invitation from the Iranian government, and that the militant movement's representatives had discussed issues of mutual interest with Iranian officials.

Fars gave no other details. Other media didn't report on the unprecedented visit.

The visit signals Iran could be seeking the role of a regional mediator between the Taliban and Karzai's government.

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