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between Iran and Afghanistan « Previous | |Next »
April 26, 2007

In accepting the war on terror Australia is hostile to Iran as a regional power and is fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Australia accepts the American control over the Kabul regime as legitimized internationally, and it supports Washington's attempts rollback of Tehran's influence in Afghanistan, including in the western provinces.

Yet Iran is also hostile to the Taliban. As M K Bhadrakumar points out in Asia Times Online:

Tehran has a fundamental problem with the Taliban's virulent anti-Shi'ite ideology - the main reason why Saudi Arabia and the US found the Taliban movement attractive in the mid-1990s. The Iranian leadership will not easily forget or forgive the Taliban for massacring (often burying alive) thousands of Shi'ites in the Hazarajat region and in northern Afghanistan during its years in power in Kabul. In Mazar-i-Sharif in 1997, when the Taliban executed eight Iranian diplomats, Tehran came close to war.

These are the sorts of distinctions "the war on terror" blurs--purposely. The "war on terror" provides the legitimation or the justification for perpetuating the Western military presence in the region.

M K Bhadrakumar says:

Iran has made no bones that its Afghan policy is essentially three-pronged. First, Iran must hasten the vacation of the American military presence in Afghanistan. Second, everything possible should be done to ensure that the Taliban don't regain power in Kabul. Third, it is in Iran's historical, cultural and geopolitical interest to ensure that western Afghanistan remains in its sphere of influence.

So neither the US nor Iran want the Taliban back in Kabul. So the military presence in Afghanistan is to target Iran and undermine the regime. Hence all the US spin about Iranian support of the Taliban.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:19 PM |