Managed Instability: Iran, the Taliban, and Afghanistan

Iran’s support for the Taliban is an effective way of retaliating against the United States, but there’s more to it.

The frequency of these border clashes is a concern for Iranian policymakers, as instability in Afghanistan has adversely impacted Iran’s economic wellbeing and national security. Hamidreza Azizi, an assistant professor at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University and an expert at the Valdai Discussion Club, told The Diplomat that Iranian authorities have struggled to contain the wave of Afghan refugees crossing the Iran-Afghanistan border. This refugee wave, combined with the lingering memories of the 1998 murder of 10 Iranian diplomats during the Taliban-orchestrated Mazar-i-Sharif siege, has caused Tehran to view a minimum degree of stability in Afghanistan as vital for Iran’s national security.  

Read more: The Diplomat