US-Iran Hostility Bleeds Over into Afghanistan

Emphasis on bleeds.

Story from Time.  

Iran recall was a huge supporter of the Northern Alliance’s effort (with US/NATO) to destroy the Taliban in Afghanistan.  That is because Iran was a sworn enemy of the Taliban. Iran is Shia and the Taliban are militant Sunnis who believe all Shia (including Afghan Hazara Shia) are infidels.

Iran in fact at a key point of impasse on deciding the future leader of post-Taliban Afghanistan, was the arbiter of the Karzai consensus.

For their help, the Iranians were listed as a member of the Axis of Evil.

Now, with the US continuing to ratchet up the pressure and talk against Iran and hardline elements in Iran playing chicken with the US, Afghanistan suffers the consequences.

In the past six months, however, Iran’s actions have taken a more sinister turn. U.S. and NATO troops have intercepted shipments of Iranian-made arms in Afghanistan, including mortars, plastic explosives and explosively formed penetrators that have been used to deadly effect against armored vehicles in Iraq. U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan William Wood said on January 31, “There is no question that elements of insurgency have received weapons from Iran.” The discovery of the first caches of Iranian-made weapons in Afghanistan in April, says a State Department official, “sent shock waves through the system.” Iran was doing more than just bringing western Afghanistan into its sphere of influence.

Two caveats.  The Army to date has not (to my knowledge) shown evidence of Iranian-made weapons in Afghanistan (or Iraq really).  Second and more importantly, assuming weapons did come from Iran they are just as likely to come from the black market, in fact more so than anywhere else. The implication of the press release is that the higher ups in the Iranian gov’t have ordered this weaponization.  It’s a long, porous border (Iran-Afghanistan) and the black market is a huge force, particularly with poppy production in Afghanistan reaching record levels.

Where the government has played a role is in the deportation of Afghanis from Iran back to their homeland putting further stress on the already weak infrastructure of the poor country.

Published in: on February 23, 2008 at 11:04 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m sorry I have to see hard evidence before I will believe that Iran is funding radical Taliban, who probably hate the Iranians more than they hate the western occupiers.

    What’s next
    Iraqi Sunnis funding Iraqi Shiites
    Sunni Tribal leaders support Muqtada’s Mahdi Army
    Or Al Qaeda pledge allegiance to the Ayatollah

    Hey while we at
    Israel giving weapons to Hamas
    Turkey funding the PKK
    Serbia giving logistical support to Kosovo

    The intentions here are clear to beef of the threat of Iran and they are now even forming unconventional alliances with mortal enemies. I’m reminded of Colin Powell holding up the pictures in U.N. saying he knows where the weapons.

  2. E,

    For sure. I see no logic to the idea that Iran would give weapons to the Taliban (they are sworn enemies). Again black market sales seems a much more likely culprit than anything else.



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