ISAF has retracted its statement that a Taliban commander who smuggled weapons from Iran was also a Qods Force operative. My sources maintain that the Taliban commander is indeed linked to Qods Force. This BBC article, which notes that Qods Force members have been detained by Afghan security forces in the past, may provide some insight as to why ISAF retracted its statement [emphasis in bold added by me]. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions….
A senior Afghan security official in Kandahar said coalition forces had been monitoring the man for some time.
He told the BBC: “Iranian intelligence officers are helping the Taliban and drug dealers in the south. We deal with it every day. This is a known fact now.
“It was the international forces who arrested him. They had been listening to him for some time and monitoring his electronic communications.”
The BBC’s Bilal Sarwary, in Kabul, says the Iranians are widely suspected of having supplied the Taliban in south and south-western Afghanistan with roadside bombs and other weapons.
Afghan intelligence officials privately suspect Iranian intelligence of meddling, our correspondent says, but are sensitive about making the accusation publicly.
Landlocked Afghanistan’s reliance on its western neighbour was highlighted on Thursday when Iran – without any explanation – stopped fuel supplies from going over the border.
A source from the Afghan domestic intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, told the BBC some of Afghanistan’s border guards were last week jailed in Iran after crossing over the border, apparently by mistake.
The Kabul government handed over some Iranian intelligence officers they had previously detained in order to get their border guards released, the source said.
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