The Tehran Times has reported that the Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has confirmed that a Taliban delegation visited Tehran.

“Within the framework of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s comprehensive consultations with all sides in Afghanistan, a political delegation of Taliban visited our country and discussed latest developments with related officials,” he said.

The visit to Tehran was the second foreign trip of the Taliban delegation. The first visit occurred in December 2018. The Afghan group earlier paid a visit to Moscow in Russia.

The delegation, comprised of members of the Taliban's political bureau based in Qatar, visited Tehran on Monday for talks with senior Iranian officials on the latest developments surrounding the Afghan peace process, including the breakdown of U.S.-Taliban negotiations.

Iran has been repeatedly saying that it attaches high value to Afghanistan as its eastern neighbor. Iran has also been insisting that peace talks in Afghanistan will not succeed without the involvement of the Afghan government, which had been largely excluded from Trump's deal. This especially troubled Afghan women, who without government representatives to ensure their liberties would be protected, began to worry that their lives could go back to what it was like in Kabul during Taliban rule. 

A senior Taliban leader in Qatar had earlier said, “The purpose of these visits is to inform leaders of these countries about the peace talks and [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump’s decision to call off the peace process at a time when both sides had resolved all outstanding issues and were about to sign a peace agreement.”

U.S. President Donald Trump canceled high-level talks with the group last week, citing a deadly bomb blast in Kabul that also left an American soldier dead.

After nine rounds of negotiations in Doha, which began in October 2018, American and Taliban officials agreed a draft accord that would have seen some 5,000 U.S. troops withdrawn from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban.

However, Trump cancelled the talks in a move that surprised the Taliban leaders.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban have attempting to coax Afghans away from voting for elections by attacking rallies and showing that Afghans will not be safe on election day. In territories controlled by the Taliban, coverage by Al-Jazeera indicates the Taliban in government are no different from the time they controlled Kabul in the 1990s. Women are still not allowed to work, and it appears beyond basic education necessary to read Arabic, are not allowed to pursue further education. 

The group said that an agreement had been “finalized” and that discussions had ended in “a good atmosphere,” but the deal had been sabotaged by Trump.

The Taliban's visit to Tehran marks the first acknowledged Taliban delegation to Tehran. After Taliban fighters took over the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, they shot down Iranian diplomats who worked in the city's Iranian consulate. At that point, Iran and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan were on the verge of war. Iran financed the Taliban's most formidable rival, the Tajik Ahmed Shah Massoud from what was called the Northern Alliance. Iranians and the government also condemned the violence perpetuated against Afghanistan's Hazara Shia community, with massacres in Bamiyan by the Taliban etched in Iran's memory of the Afghan civil war.

Since that time, it has long been suspected that the Taliban and Iran's government had channels to communicate through, especially as the Taliban has began to project itself as an anti-American occupation force in the region.