September 24, 2021

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Iran is betting on the Taliban

Mohamed Jawad Sharif receives the then Iranian Foreign Minister (right), Mullah Abdul Ghani Bardar (center) and the Taliban delegation to Tehran on January 21, 2021.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Taliban began legal action long before the fall of Kabul on August 15. In January, senior Iranian officials welcomed the Taliban delegation to Tehran without representatives of the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. The two sides then discussed “Relations between the two countries”, From “Afghan immigrants in Iran” And “Political and Security Situation in Afghanistan and the Region”. As for Tehran’s Shia power, the Sunni Taliban were already the future masters of the country even before the US withdrawal.

Attempts to whitewash the Taliban have intensified in press and official speeches. At the end of June, the ultra-conservative Iranian newspaper Caihan, The editor-in-chief was appointed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and argued that the Taliban had changed and that they were not. “People we knew before, beheaded”. Kaihan On June 28, during the rebel-led offensive, “Unlike the Islamic State, which has done some things in Iraq, there has been no serious crime.”. It also focused on the daily reports of the Taliban “They will not touch the Shias of their country.”. A reference to the massacre of Hazara Shia minorities in Afghanistan by the Taliban during their first regime, from 1996 to 2001. At present, Tehran seems to be interested in reports from the provinces of Afghanistan reporting harassment against these minority members.

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Article of Kaihan It caused a stir in both Afghanistan and Iran, especially on social media, where users denounced Tehran’s tone change to Sunni fundamentalists. Opponents of hardening the regime see similarities between Sunni extremists and the hardline faction in power in Iran. Critics did not like the Iranian position. In fact, what is important for Iranians today is the withdrawal of Americans from Afghanistan. They were finally freed from the presence of their main enemy east of their frontier.

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Rewriting the history of Tehran

On August 7, Tehran made further progress in its operations “Standardization” Taliban, rewrite history. For the first time, the anniversary of the death of Iranian television journalist Mahmoud Zaremi in 1998 in Masar-e-Sharif (northern Afghanistan) was marked without mentioning those responsible for the assassination. At the time, Iran was almost at war with the Taliban, who killed all but eight Iranian diplomats during the attack on the Iranian embassy.

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