By Carlo Muñoz - 12/10/13 10:22 AM EST
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has inked a security pact with Iran, setting the stage for long-term security, economic and political cooperation between Kabul and Tehran.
The Afghan-Iran deal represents a "long-term friendship and cooperation pact" with Iran that "will be for long-term political, security, economic and cultural cooperation, regional peace," according to Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi.
The postwar plan, known inside the Pentagon as the bilateral security agreement (BSA), was "overwhelmingly approved" by an assembly of the Afghanistan's most powerful tribal leaders, called the Loya Jirga, earlier this month, according to Defense Secretary Chuck HagelChuck HagelThere's still time for another third-party option Hagel says NATO deployment could spark a new Cold War with Russia Overnight Defense: House panel unveils 5B defense spending bill MORE.
But a slew of last-minute demands by Karzai, including the release of all Afghan prisoners at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay and banning members of a U.S. postwar force from entering Afghan homes, has Obama considering a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan next year.
Iran has been a vocal opponent of a U.S-Afghan postwar pact since negotiations between Kabul and Washington began earlier this year.
On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani again blasted Afghanistan's pending deal with the United States.
“We are concerned about tension arising out of the presence of foreign forces in the region, believing that all foreign forces should get out of the region and the task of guaranteeing Afghan security should be entrusted to the country’s people,” Rouhani told Iranian state-run news agency IRNA.