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Photo credit: Iran International

It seems that Iran is finding, these days, in the Afghan arena, a new opportunity to extend its influence, claiming that it has the strength and ability to find balance against the extremist Taliban movement, and thus claiming to impose stability in the country.

To achieve this, Tehran did not find it better than reproducing its previous experiences in other areas. An Iranian local newspaper Iran Intl. revealed the establishment of a new militia in Afghanistan called the Hashd al-Shi’i (Shiite Mobilization) to fight the extremist movement.

According to the newspaper, the militia has recently appeared in Shiite neighborhoods in the capital, Kabul, and is preparing to fight the Taliban.

She reproduced “Fatemiyoun” and justified the fears

Thus, the new organization joins another Afghan faction supported by Iran, the “Fatemiyoun Brigade”, which enjoys significant financial and military support from the Quds Force, estimated at about 30,000, and participated in particular in the Syrian war.

From the Fatemiyoun militia in Afghanistan

This organization has raised great fears in Afghanistan, but Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was trying to reduce concerns about it, and told an Afghan channel that the number of the brigade’s fighters does not exceed 5,000, and may constitute a support force for the Afghan forces to combat ISIS, as he put it.

Negotiate with the Taliban

As for Iran’s arming and support for Shiite groups in Afghanistan, it is matched at the same time by extending its hand to the Taliban movement, launching public initiatives towards the movement, as it announced that it hosted rounds of talks between the Taliban and a government delegation within the framework of what it says about its efforts to mediate for political reconciliation.

From the Taliban

It was also remarkable the positions of the two sides in expressing their respect for their common borders after the Taliban movement controlled the most important crossing between the two countries, the “Islam al-Qalaa” crossing.

It is worth noting that Iran’s duality in the Afghan arena between support for Shiite extremist movements and outreach to Sunni dominant movements such as the Taliban reflects Iran’s strategy in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Syria.

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