Afghanistan Condemns Iranian Claim That A Pro-Shiite Group Is Formed

Afghan government officials have accused the Islamic Republic of Iran of “conspiracy, sedition and war mongering” in Afghanistan on Monday.

The accusation followed the publication of an article in the Iranian conservative newspaper Jomhouri Eslami [Islamic Republic] that broke the news about the emergence of a new political group in Afghanistan called, oddly in Arabic, Hashd al-Shi’i [Shiite Mobilization]. The group’s name is similar to the pro-Iran militia group in Iraq named Hashd al-Sha’bi [Popular Mobilization].

Iran’s fundamentalist officials have a fixation on the word mobilization [Basij in Persian] which characterizes the IRGC linked Iranian militia called the Basij, often used to suppress protesters.

The Jomhouri Eslami which was funded by Ali Khamenei in 1979 following the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran, has published several articles warning Iranian officials against the re-emergence of the Taliban in Afghanistan during the past weeks.

The daily wrote Monday that “Hashd al-Shi’i has risen to confront the Taliban terrorists,” adding that the Taliban have escalated attacks on various cities and have brought at least another 50 Afghan towns under their control during the past weeks.”

The Iranian paper has quoted the militia group’s commander Saeed Hassan al-Heydari as having said in his first public speech: “I will command popular groups to fight alongside government forces to defend our homeland in the same way I defended the sanctuary of my great grandfather Imam Ali [the first of the Shiites’ 12 Imams].”

Qasem Vafaizadah, the head of the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture says, “With this kind of conspiracy, Iran is making the war in Afghanistan more complicated by provoking the people and creating security threats, but this fire will also burn Iran.” Vafaizadah stressed that “There is no room in Afghanistan for such mercenary groups who act as foreigners’ puppets.”

Source: Iran Internation

Also Read: Iran cozies up with Taliban, fearing ISIS threat in Afghanistan

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