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Iran will seek closer ties with the Afghan Taliban

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Significance

The move emphasises the intense importance of the Taliban takeover for neighbouring Iran. Tehran is balancing fears of potential cross-border violence, immigration and illicit economic activity against opportunities for increased diplomatic leverage, security cooperation and and economic ties.

Impacts

  • Tehran’s moves to legitimise the Taliban may further alienate Western countries, not least on human rights grounds.
  • Iran will use Taliban links to leverage closer ties with Russia and China, as both will welcome it as a regional intermediary.
  • The experiences of Islamic Revolution Guard Corps Quds Force head Ismail Ghani in 1990s Afghanistan may influence policy choices.
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