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Published On: Sun, Aug 6th, 2017

Iranian Revolutionary Guards back Taliban: Intelligence Official in Herat

Fahwad Al-Khadoumi (nsnbc) : The government in Tehran may be saying Iran doesn’t support the Taliban, but we have seen increased Taliban support by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, that is material support, intelligence support and special operations, a intelligence official from Herat told nsnbc international.

(archives)

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The intelligence official, here named H.N. to protect his identity, said there has been a marked increase in Iran’s support of the Taliban in parts of Northwestern Afghanistan since 2015. Iranian proxies have been here for years, said H.N. to this author, but the level of support, cooperation and the direct presence of Revolutionary Guards increased.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry and the Revolutionary Guards are complementary instruments, said H.M.. The government will of course deny involvement in black operations carried out by the Revolutionary Guards, said H.N. He backed his statement with recent photos snapped by local intelligence forces who are investigating links between the Revolutionary Guards and political – economic Taliban supporters in the region.

H.N. also referred to October 2016 when four senior Iranian commandos were among the dozens of dead after a U.S. air strike near Farah. Their funerals were held in Iran, he added and noted that many of the wounded Taliban also were transported back to Iran across the border.

Asked why the Shia government in Tehran would support the Sunni Taliban he smiled and said because it’s convenient; the Taliban gains support and Tehran lets Washington know that they will have to pay a price in Afghanistan if the US or its Kurdish allies in the west (western Iran) or ISIL increase their militant activities. Iran will also back  Taliban and other proxies where ever it perceives the need to protect its influence.

The presence of proxies, including Iranian has long been known and published, among others by Pakistani Major (r( Agha H. Amin Map plottings, Major (r) Agha Humayum Amin

The presence of proxies, including Iranian has long been known and published, among others by Pakistani Major (r) Agha H. Amin. Map plottings courtesy Agha Humayum Amin

The Sunni – Shia issue has more nuances and facets than the stereotypes that are used by policymakers, some strategists, and spin doctors, H.N. said. Remember that both Ayatollah Khamenei and Mohammed Morsi described the 2011 events in Libya as a revolution, your colleague Lehmann made that observation long ago, he added, and said, as far as I remember, that ended his chances for being published in Iranian State media.

Washington and the UK have taken out Saddam and the Taliban. It would be foolish to assume that Tehran would reject the Taliban as an asset merely because it’s Sunni. If it is useful, and as long as the government in Tehran can maintain plausible deniability, it will support the Taliban, of course, H.N. said. Just think about it, give them (Taliban) a little bit of support and the Taliban will bleed itself as well as the USA, what more can one possibly ask for.

In the end, everybody except the Afghan people reap the benefits, H.N. said. Tehran asserts its influence in the region and bogs down US forces in Afghanistan; the USA reaps the benefits because it has a pretext for its continued presence here, and the Afghan people continue to pay the price for it all. It’s not new or unusual, everybody is here, the Saudis, the Pakistanis, even those from India, it’s not unusual but we have to be honest about it if we want to discuss possible solutions.

F/AK – nsnbc 06.08.2017

About the Author

- Fahwad al-Khadoumi is a Palestinian, born in Syria in 1956. He began as editorial assistant in 2013 and became co-editor at nsnbc international in 2014. His editorial signature in as co-editor in nsnbc is F/AK - nsnbc ..date. He can be reached by e-mail at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

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