Iran continues to arm the Taliban

EFPs, EFP cones, and other materials seized during a raid in Baghdad in October 2008. Click to view.

FOX News reports that another shipment of Iranian weapons has been confiscated in western Afghanistan:

Afghan and NATO forces uncovered the weapons cache on Aug. 29 in Herat. It included a small number of Iranian-made “explosively formed penetrators,” hyper-powerful roadside bombs similar to the weapons used to kill U.S. forces in Iraq, a senior U.S. Defense Official told FOX News.

Also seized during the raid were 107 Iranian-made BM-1 rockets and dozens of blocks of Iranian C4 plastic explosives.

Iran has been using the same playbook it used in Iraq, but is a little bit more low-key in Afghanistan.

Iran has been shipping weapons to Afghanistan for some time and is known to directly sponsor the Afghan Taliban and allied insurgent groups. Qods Force is a known backer of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who is the leader of the Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin faction and an ally of al Qaeda and the Taliban. Iran also is known to support Mullah Mustafa, a Taliban commander in Ghor province. The US military thought it killed Mustafa in a strike in June but he later surfaced.

The US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism for 2008 is explicit on Iran’s support to the Taliban:

Iran’s IRGC Qods Force provided assistance to the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Qods Force provided training to the Taliban on small unit tactics, small arms, explosives, and indirect fire weapons. Since at least 2006, Iran has arranged arms shipments including small arms and associated ammunition, rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, 107mm rockets, and plastic explosives to select Taliban members.

Also see Thomas Joscelyn’s report from over the weekend. And if you haven’t read Thomas’ 2007 Claremont Institute report, Iran’s Proxy War Against America, I highly recommend it.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • klosck says:

    I find it hard to believe that there is much backing from the government of Iran is backing for the Taliban. This is not like Iraq. A stable Afghanistan is in Iran’s best interest. If anything, these Iranian made rockets and EFPs were brought over by rogue terrorist elements and have nothing to do with Iranian policy.

  • Aussie says:

    I believe that Iran is supporting the Taliban and have been doing so for a long time.


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