Report: Iranian Agents Work With Afghan Rebels to Destabilize Karzai Government
U.S. intelligence agencies claim to have spotted scores of Iranian intelligence and military personnel working deep inside Afghanistan to destabilize the interim government of Hamid Karzai, The Washington Times reported on Tuesday, citing officials familiar with intelligence reports.
The Iranians allegedly include agents from the ministry of intelligence and security, the Iranian spy service, and Iranian special forces troops from the revolutionary guards corps.
The Washington Times quoted the officials as claiming that the Iranians are working with hundreds of Afghan fighters near Mazar-e-Sharif to destabilize the interim government. The Iranians are allegedly working to prevent the potential return from Italy of former Afghan king Mohammed Zahir Shah.
The report came as the Iranian government announced Monday that Karzai will travel to Tehran next week for talks.
Meanwhile, Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi rejected accusations by U.S. that Iran is trying to destabilize Afghanistan. "we are determined to remain in Afghanistan as long as the government and the people want us to do so," Kharrazi said. Several U.S. officials accused Iran of harboring former al-Qaeda members. Iran has denied knowledge of the matter. (Albawaba.com)