Iran’s Involvement

Iran faces conflicting motives in its not-so-secret support for insurgents in Afghanistan, says Army Gen. David Petraeus, head of US Forces-Afghanistan. Iran’s involvement is pretty clear, Petraeus said last week during a discussion in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the National Journal and Newseum. Iran’s revolutionary guards are providing the insurgents with training, equipment, and funding, he said. He noted that authorities recently stopped a shipment of unmarked—but Iranian-made—rockets just inside the Afghan border. Theses rockets had “double the range, double the payload, and double the burst radius” of anything the insurgents have used before, he said. Despite this support, Shiite Iran has “no desire” to see a “Sunni extremist” government like the Taliban regain power in Afghanistan, said Petraeus. Afghanistan’s “illegal narcotics industry has enslaved a lot of young Iranians,” and that problem would get immeasurably worse if the Afghan government collapsed, he said during the March 18 event.