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Other important leaders included Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum and Tajik warlord Ismail Khan, a member of Rabbani and Massoud’s Jamiat-e Islami.

Iran, along with Russia, provided arms and funding to the Northern Alliance throughout the civil war, while Pakistan and Saudi Arabia supported the Taliban.

During the anti-Soviet resistance year, while the US, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan tended to back mainly Sunni-fundamentalist Pashtun mujahideen groups, like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e Islami, Iran generally supported Persian-speaking or Shia groups, mainly among the Hazara.

These mujahideen received funding, training, supplies, weapons, and sanctuary in Iran.

Iran participated in the formation of the post-Taliban government in the Bonn Conference in December 2001 and contributed to reconstruction efforts, with the aim of establishing friendly ties with Kabul.

invasion of Afghanistan ushered in a fresh chapter in relations between Iran and Afghanistan.

The Islamic revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran coincided with the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

Entangled with domestic problems, estrangement with the United States over the hostage crisis, and later the war with Iraq, Khomeini’s regime maintained relations both with the Soviet Union and its satellite regime in Kabul.

In Iran, more than half of the population is under the age of 25.It has sought greater influence over the government in Kabul, and remains wary of the U. The reviewers assert that: “The more stability and development in Afghanistan, the more secure will be Iran’s interests” and express—with confidence—that Iran can “secure its interests in Afghanistan despite foreign competition.” But to better understand Iran’s Afghanistan policy, two recent events are illuminating: o During the winter of 2008-2009, when the lack of electricity became one of the major news stories in Afghan media, and public outrage against the ministry of Water and Power was at its peak, the Iranian Embassy announced selling 25 million liters of oil at cheaper price to Afghanistan to help with Kabul’s electricity supply.(It is worth noting that the minister of Water and Electricity—Ismael Khan—has a history of close ties to Tehran.) o In January 2009—during the same winter Iran forcefully deported over 8000 Afghans in one week in the midst of a cold winter.The Kabul based daily Hasht-e-Sobeh (8 AM) observed that the forceful deportations were a part of Iranian policy to illustrate to the U. that Iran can make life hard in Afghanistan, especially, the paper noted, after President Obama did not respond to Mahmud Ahmadinezhad’s letter.Thus, Tehran supported the formation of an anti-Taliban coalition composed of mostly Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara factions—including Hezb-e Wahdat.This United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, also known as the Northern Alliance, was led by deposed ethnic Tajik President Burhanuddin Rabbani and his military commander Ahmad Shah Massoud.

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