Saturday, October 16, 2021

Iran cozies up with Taliban, fearing ISIS threat in Afghanistan

Concerned with the re-emergence of ISIS in its borders, and fully aware of Taliban’s inevitable rule in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of U.S. troops, The Islamic Republic of Iran hosted the first significant talks in months between Taliban and Afghan government representatives on Wednesday.

The Government of Iran, exploiting the withdrawal of Americans from Afghanistan, plays the role of mediator between the Kabul government and Taliban, but what truly worries the Iranian government is the future of Afghanistan.

The Kabul regime cannot stand up to the Taliban insurgents without the help of Western countries, and as a result, the deep reconstruction of Afghanistan’s political scene is an inevitable reality, which is why Tehran is already trying to keep the Taliban on its side.

The Islamic Republic of Iran knows that ISIS remains a very serious threat in the country as it is taking advantage of the turmoil that prevails in Afghanistan.

 Tehran is extremely fearful of an ISIS uprising in Afghanistan, as it is well aware of its hostility toward the fundamentalist Shiite government in Iran.

From Tehran’s point of view, the Taliban are the only local power that can prevent ISIS from expanding its influence in Afghanistan.

 The Iranian government also knows that it cannot expect much from the Tehran conference, since it is impossible to assume a temporary even-reaching ceasefire between Kabul and the Taliban.

The Taliban have made relentless territorial wins since April when President Joe Biden announced the last 2,500-3,500 US soldiers and 7,000 allied Nato soldiers would depart Afghanistan. With their victories in northern and southern Afghanistan, the Taliban are escalating pressure on provincial cities and gaining control of key transportation routes.

What Tehran wants is to receive some guarantees from the Taliban, while the group’s grip on Afghanistan seems inevitable. In fact, Iran’s fear of the ISIS threat in Afghanistan and its re-emergence in the borders is one of the main reasons behind Iran cozying up with the Taliban.

Also read: Widespread blackouts and water shortage spark protests across Iran

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