U.N. Worries About Asian Instability

TEHRAN, Iran?The United Nations should exclude the United States and Afghanistan’s neighbors from any possible post-Taliban peacekeeping mission or risk even more instability across central Asia, Iran’s foreign minister said Monday.

Such a position risks increasing friction with Washington, which may seek some continued military oversight in Afghanistan if attacks succeed in toppling the Taliban and uprooting Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda command.

However, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi insisted that any U.S. presence on a post Taliban peacekeeping force “would have a negative impact on the whole region.

“Central Asian countries are always sensitive to the presence of Americans and American soldiers,” Kharrazi said, adding that any peacekeeping force “should be composed of countries that do not have any specific interests in Afghanistan.”

That would also mean excluding Iran, which shares a porous 450-mile-long border with Afghanistan.