Taliban official Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa was interviewed on Iranian TV ahead of the American pullout of Afghanistan and its subsequent takeover by the Taliban, saying that the Taliban seeks good relations with its Muslim neighbors such as Iran. The interview was aired on July 21, 2021 on the Iranian English language channel Press TV with English subtitles and then again after the American withdrawal on August 17, 2021. Mullah Khirkhwa said that Iran and Afghanistan both were "damaged by the influence of foreign external forces." He also explained that had the Taliban known that ISIS was based in eastern Afghanistan it would have rid the area of their "filth," and explained that they practice a "deviant" form of Islam, according to which any Muslim, who does not agree with them is not a Muslim. Mullah Khairkhwa was the governor of Herat, before being arrested and held in Guantanamo. He was released in May 2014 in a prisoner exchange.
Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa: "If the Taliban knew that Daesh was based in eastern Afghanistan, we would fight them and clear the area of their filth.
"As I already mentioned, they have deviant beliefs and Islamic law does not allow us to have such beliefs. They believe that if a Muslim does not agree with them, he is not a Muslim and they have permission and control over the lives and property of those who do not agree with their beliefs.
"As I previously mentioned, we want to have good relations with everyone, especially with neighboring Muslim countries. And it is natural that whether we like it or not, our relation with them is a necessity. It is both a necessity for them and us. For example, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Afghanistan both our countries have been damaged by the influence of foreign, external forces."