The news that Taliban rebels are being armed with Iranian-supplied weapons poses an added threat to the 5,000 British troops battling insurgents in southern Afghanistan. “I have to tell the truth. It is clear to everyone that Iran is supporting the enemy of Afghanistan, the Taliban,” Colonel Rahmatullah Safi, head of border police for western Afghanistan, told The Sunday Times.I'm sure they'll stop waging this proxy war on us just as soon as we engage them diplomatically.
Afghan intelligence sources believe that many deals between the Taliban and the Iranians are conducted through a drug smuggler in southern Afghanistan who acts as a middle man. He is from the minority Baluch tribe; as well as smuggling heroin through Iran to Europe, he is also believed to have bought weapons off the Iranian government and sold them on to the Taliban.
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Along with supplies of Kalashnikov assault rifles and mortars, Afghan military sources fear that the Iranians may also have supplied heat-seeking missiles. International forces rely heavily on helicopters to transport troops as the roads are too dangerous to drive along, but they are especially vulnerable to this kind of weaponry.
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“The Taliban are Sunni extremists and the Iranians definitely don’t want them to take control of Afghanistan again, but right now they support them as there is a bigger enemy, America. The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” said Haji Rafiq Shahir, a law professor at Herat University.
A western official in Kabul said he was aware that the Iranian government had offered weapons to the Taliban: “The Iranian government offered weapons for free but the Taliban refused as they didn’t want to be beholden to them.”
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Iran fighting us not only in Iraq
Iran's meddling in Iraq has been pretty widely reported (even if the left largely denies it), but their work in Afghanistan seems to be a bit less well-known.