Alliance For democracy In Iran

Please have a look at my other weblog, Iran Democracy -



Shahanshah Aryameher


Iranian Freedom Fighters UNITE

Friday, July 20, 2007

Iran accused of training Afghans to fight US

20 July 2007 - Herat, Afghanistan - Erstwhile enemies who once stood on the brink of war, Iran and the Taleban now appear linked by conflicts against the US, as officials and political analysts accuse Teheran of training and arming the Afghan insurgents. Colonel Rahmatullah Safi, border police commander in the three western provinces of Farah, Badghis and Herat, claimed that his forces seized and intercepted weapons including anti-tank mines on the Afghan-Iranian border that were intended for the Taleban.
‘Since Americans are in a difficult situation in Iraq, Iran wants to turn Afghanistan into a second Iraq for them and their international allies,’ Safi said in his headquarters 15 kilometres outside Herat city.‘The Iranian officials try to keep foreign forces in the country busy in the fight with Taleban, so they don’t have the chance to put more pressure or attack Iran because of its nuclear programme,’ he said.Safi also said that he had intelligence information that militants including former mujahedeen, who fought Soviet forces in Afghanistan and later plunged the country into a bloody civil war, ousted members of the Taleban and foreign fighters were trained in Iranian military bases.‘I have information that 45 fighters led by Yahya Khortarak, who was a mujahedeen commander in Herat province in the past, are now under training in the border town of Turbat Jam in Iran and they want to enter Herat from the Kamana area of the border to carry out some terrorist acts like planting mines, or even maybe suicide attacks,’ Safi said.The brigade that Safi commands comprises 1,652 agents, but he says the actual number of men patrolling the 1186-kilometre border is barely 900.‘We don’t even have one guard per kilometre, but the Iranians have thousands, so it’s impossible that they are unaware of these movements,’ he admitted.NATO and US government officials in the past have also claimed that Iranian-made weapons were found in Afghanistan but this was the first direct accusation by an Afghan regional official that Iran was involved in assisting the resurgent Taleban.NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Maria Carl also confirmed that Iranian-made weaponry was found in Afghanistan but said that the alliance was not sure if Teheran was supplying them.‘There have definitely been a number of weapons that we have found that have markings consistent with an Iranian origin, so that part is not disputed at all,’ Carl said. ‘But it is not still clear, we still don’t have evidence which shows that there is any formal Iranian political backing or that the government of Iran is behind it.’Afghan and ISAF officials also recently claimed that they had seized five explosively formed penetrator bombs (EFP), which can pierce military armoured vehicles, and have been found in the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon.‘Some EFP components may be made in Iran, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the Iranian government is behind it,’ Colonel Thomas Kelly, deputy chief of ISAF counter-Improvised Explosive Device, said Wednesday.Afghan president Hamid Karzai is cautious to not accuse the Iranian government.Teheran also denied that it would send arms for Islamists of the Taleban group in Afghanistan.‘These allegations are so baseless as Iran’s role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan is unanimously confirmed by both friends and enemies (of Iran),’ IRNA, Iran’s state-run news agency, quoted Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, Mehdi Safari, as saying.The accusations by the foreign forces are more an effort to cover their weakness in effectively confronting terrorism and establishing security in Afghanistan,’ Safari added.Taleban spokesman Zabeeullah Mujahed also denied that they were receiving arms or training from Iran.‘We don’t get any help from Iran or Pakistan, we receive assistance from different nations. We are buying weapons from international markets and bring them to Afghanistan through different means including smuggling them,’ he said.Despite the denials, border police commander Safi believes that Iranian government is playing both sides: arming the Taleban while making friendly overtures to Karzai government.‘I am not talking for any one, neither for Karzai nor for the Americans - whatever I see I say it. I have seen the Iranian-made mines and armed people entering Afghanistan and I know that the militants are trained there,’ he stressed.‘Iran knows Afghanistan has become an important place for the US and NATO countries, so by putting pressure on Afghanistan they can make the Western countries relax pressure on Teheran,’ said Dad Noorani, an Afghan writer and political analyst.Thanks to its strategic location, Afghanistan has once again become a theatre for rival political interests to be played out. Waheed Muzhda, an Afghan political analyst who wrote book on Afghan-Iran relations in the 1990s, said the ‘Great Game’ never ends for Afghans. ‘Either it is between Great Britain and Russia or between US and Russia, and now between Iran-US.‘Afghanistan has always been victimized because of foreign rivalries,’ Muzhda said. ‘Iran wants to use Afghan soil and people to combat the US forces, as they do in Iraq.’

No comments: