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Iran hinted at Pakistan’s cooperation with Taliban in #Panjshir : video

Sara A. Carter
@SaraCarterDC
Four ex-Guantanamo Bay inmates Obama freed in exchange for Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl are named as top commanders in Afghanistan’s new Taliban government.

Hindustan Times
@htTweets

The European Union voiced disapproval of the #Taliban’s provisional government in #Afghanistan after the Islamist militants named several leaders, saying they had not kept a promise to include women and other religious groups.

Major Surendra Poonia
@MajorPoonia
On #InternationalLiteracyDay world must understand the cost & result of good education

At least 6 of the new Taliban Govt’s ministers are products of ‘Darul Uloom Haqqania’ which is in Pakistan.
What is ‘Darul Uloom Haqqania’?
It is known as the “University of Jihad”

Barbara Plett Usher
@BBCBarbaraPlett
Protest in #Kabul today. They are carrying a banner with a photo of the policewoman the Taliban are accused of shooting earlier this week, in central Ghor province

Ashish (ABP News) #Vaccinate
@AshishSinghLIVE
#BREAKING Afghan Envoys revolt against #Taliban Govt. Erstwhile Forn Ministry of Afghanistan comes out with a statement on same via Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
@ABPNews

Panjshir Heroes
@panjshirheroes
Pakistani armed drones entered Afghan soil yesterday after being green signaled from #Taliban

Zahra Rahimi
@ZahraSRahimi
#BREAKING EU warns Taliban govt in Afghanistan not ‘inclusive and representative’.
@AFP

Hindustan Times
@htTweets
At least 14 members of the #Taliban’s new government are on UNSC’s terrorism blacklist, reports revealed.

Radioactive
@Kaala_Nag

Statement released by former #Afghanistan President
@ashrafghani
.

Mohammad Gran
@ghofransamkanai

#German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressed concern on Wednesday about the composition of the provisional government established by the Taliban in #Afghanistan. (Reuters)

Hindustan Times
@htTweets
Pakistan foreign minister proposed the idea of inviting #Taliban leaders in future regional meetings during a virtual gathering of foreign ministers.

Qureshi chaired the meeting of foreign ministers of China, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Bloomberg Politics
@bpolitics
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian had phone calls with Abdullah Abdullah and former president Hamid Karzai to discuss the situation in Afghanistan as the Taliban announced their new government

SAMRI
@SAMRIReports
Sep 7
#Taliban’s attack on #Panjir is the front-page story of many Iranian newspapers. Iran strongly condemned the attack and called indirectly hinted at Pakistan’s cooperation with Taliban.

Iran International English
@IranIntl_En

In a new interview with WION, former #Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says handing over power in #Afghanistan to the #Taliban is a “satanic plot” by the US and the West.

Where Iran Stands on the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan

By Ray Takeyh

How has Iran reacted to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan?
It has welcomed the departure of U.S. forces and pledged to work with the Taliban government. New Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said, “America’s military defeat must become an opportunity to restore life, security, and durable peace in Afghanistan.”

But the collapse of the Afghan government came at a time when the Iranian political system was in transition, with Raisi in the process of taking over the presidency. Thus, most of the domestic attention has been focused on cabinet selection and the confirmation process for ministers. Surging COVID-19 infections in Iran have also overshadowed the situation in Afghanistan.

Iran-Afghanistan relations became very tense after the murder of Iranian diplomats under the previous Taliban regime. Is any similar Sunni-Shia friction evident now?

The two countries nearly went to war in 1998 because of the murder of those Iranian diplomats. But during the long years of Taliban insurgency, this friction waned. The insurgency was also a source of disorder that kept the United States busy in Afghanistan, which served Iranian strategic purposes.

It’s also worth noting that during the post-2001 insurgency, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was active in Afghanistan. By 2013, it was recruiting tens of thousands of Afghans [PDF] to serve in one of the militias it used in Syria. The question now is whether Iran can continue recruiting Afghans for its various militias under the new Taliban reign.

But the situation today is different. The Sunni Taliban are no longer just a guerrilla force; they now rule the country. An offshoot of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, another Sunni group, also operates in Afghanistan, and the country could attract similar militant groups, which would raise concerns in Iran. Instability in Afghanistan, conflict among its various factions, and Sunni militancy all present Iran with a strategic problem that it likely did not anticipate. The new Iranian government was already dealing with a struggling economy and a third wave of COVID-19 infections. Now it faces unpredictability on its eastern front.

Iran has hosted millions of Afghan refugees in the past, and many remain. Will it allow more into the country?
This time around, Iran is unlikely to welcome a large number of refugees, like it did in the 1980s. The Iran-Afghanistan border is closed, and with the COVID-19 pandemic raging in Iran, the regime is looking to limit any further spread from outside the country.

Will the U.S. departure from Afghanistan have any bearing on Iranian foreign policy?
It is unlikely that developments in Afghanistan will alter Iran’s level of support for proxies in Syria and particularly Iraq; backing proxies is already a strategic priority. But if the sectarian divide between Iran and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan sharpens, Iran could further rely on the Shiite proxies that it has trained and armed. The new Iranian government has pledged to prioritize relations in the immediate neighborhood more than its predecessor, which spent much of its time trying to draw Western investors and dealing with the nuclear issue.

The Islamic Republic’s approach toward nuclear negotiations with the United States likely won’t change because of the withdrawal. Iran’s position has remained consistent: it will remain party to the nuclear deal as long as the United States returns to the agreement under the previous conditions, with no changes. Both former President Hassan Rouhani and now Raisi have stressed that Iran will neither negotiate an extension of the current agreement nor accept the inclusion of its missile capability in any talks, as has been raised by the United States.

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