Iran’s Strategic Mistake in Recent Developments in Afghanistan

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
US troop's withdrawal from Afghanistan seemed to bear some good news for Iran. Khamenei (Iran's Supreme Leader) welcomed the idea because his regime would have felt no threat from the US forces in its eastern borders.

Furthermore, he was banking on a coalition between Ashraf Ghani's government and the Taliban. This relatively weak and fragile alliance could create an opportunity and pave the way for an increase in Iran's influence in Afghanistan.

With this in mind, Khamenei had ordered then-Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to invite Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to Iran while the Taliban was still considered a terrorist group. It was evident that inviting Mullah Baradar was not within the authority of the Foreign Minister and even President Hassan Rouhani.

This article is good food for thought for those who presume that the hasty American exit and the Taliban takeover over Afghanistan is a win for Iran.