The Iranian regime has celebrated the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and is supporting a peaceful transition of power that includes the Taliban. Iran will likely recognize the Taliban government in the months ahead if Iranian leaders conclude that they can cooperate with the group. Tehran seeks to work with the Taliban and other international actors to achieve its strategic objectives in Afghanistan. The Iranian objectives include: Avoiding conflict with the Taliban, Neutralizing any Salafi-jihadi threat to Iran from Afghanistan, Supporting transnational infrastructure projects that connect Iran to central Asia and China, Defending Shi’a Afghans

Tehran has contingency plans to contest Taliban influence if relations deteriorate and cooperation cannot guarantee Iranian interests. Iran’s armed forces have militarized the border region (936 km border between Afghanistan and Iran), expanded security cooperation with Tajikistan, and may have mobilized their Afghan proxy, the Fatemiyoun Division, to defend Iranian interests if needed.


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