Iran Positions Itself To Capitalize On Afghanistan Vaccum
Israel 365 News - Newly installed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi celebrated the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the failure of the United States to leave smoothly after 20 years entrenched in the country, marking the beginning of what’s likely to be a more aggressive stance there and on other fronts in the Middle East.
American leaders have accused Iran of backing the Taliban in the fight against its military forces in Afghanistan. While a withdrawal was announced by the Biden administration earlier this year, what has happened over the course of the past few days was certainly not what they had in mind.
“America’s military defeat and its withdrawal must become an opportunity to restore life, security and durable peace in Afghanistan,” Raisi pronounced on Monday, according to Iran’s state TV, reported Reuters.
Iran has had a complicated relationship with Afghanistan and the Taliban. The Shi’ite Muslim country shares a 560-mile border with mainly Sunni Muslim Afghanistan and hosts some 3.5 million Afghan refugees. In the late 1990s, Iran almost went to war with the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan after several Iranian diplomats were killed, and the Islamic Republic had cooperated with the United States early on in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 with intelligence support before relations deteriorated during the Bush administration.
Nevertheless, the embarrassment of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the swift Taliban victory over the Western-backed government represents an opportunity for Iran to take a more defiant posture against an America on the retreat from the Middle East.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the reign of the will of the wronged people of Afghanistan has always created security and stability,” said Raisi. “While consciously monitoring developments in the country, Iran is committed to neighborly relations.”
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