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Tehran may activate Afghan clients in Iran-US contest

Friday, July 26, 2019

Subject

Iran's influence in Afghanistan.

Significance

US-Iranian tensions focus on the Gulf but their repercussions are felt in Afghanistan, where Tehran has deep and multiple relationships that it could use for disruptive purposes. As in the Gulf, there is a risk that measured aggression on both sides could spin out of control.

Impacts

  • Iran's growing demands on clients and reduced ability to fund them could result in a net loss of influence.
  • Anti-Iran actors such as Saudi Arabia are trying to insert themselves between Tehran and its clients such as the Taliban.
  • Iranian brinkmanship played out through Afghanistan would worsen Moscow's relations with Tehran.
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