Iran accused of supporting Taliban attacks
Dean Nelson – Telegraph.co.uk July 27, 2010
A series of military intelligence logs, mainly from 2005 and 2006, report that Tehran offered insurgency commanders financial bounties for each soldier killed in Afghanistan. Iranian intelligence officials are also accused of supplying cash and vehicles for car bombs.
The claims are based on reports from local Afghan intelligence agents and highlight the background to American claims that Iran is waging a covert proxy war against Nato forces in Afghanistan.
The reports, disclosed by Wikileaks, include claims that in 2005, Iran offered a group of eight Taliban leaders more than $1,700 in bounty for each Afghan soldier killed and around $3,500 for each Afghan government official. Each of the Iran-based leaders were crossing into Afghanistan to raise recruits and prepare to attack coalition forces in Helmand and Oruzgan provinces.
Another report in January 2005 claimed two Iranian intelligence agents had brought more than $200,000 to Afghanistan and handed it over to aides of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the former Afghan prime minister who now heads one of the most deadly factions in the insurgency.
"The money was transferred to a 1990s model white Toyota Corolla station wagon. The money was hidden with various food stuffs. The Corolla was occupied by four members of the Hezb-E-Islami, Gulbuddin (HIG) terrorist organisation. The money was transported to an unknown location," the log claims.
In March the following year, two more Iranian intelligence agents crossed the border to help Hekmatyar's faction plot further attacks.
According to the report, 'Abdul Jalil', described as having a black beard and brown eyes and 'Ahmaddin', who had long hair and brown eyes, arrived in Afghanistan to help the Taliban and Hekmatyar's group "in carrying out terrorist attacks against the AFG governmental authorities and the CF [Coalition Forces] members." Later in 2006, another report claimed Hekmatyar's group had bought 200 cars from Iran and Pakistan to transform into car bombs.
Although Hekmatyar had lived in Iran after the Taliban came to power in 1996, he was expelled by Iran in February 2002 after he called for resistance to coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Although most of the reports date back to 2005 and 2006, one report from 2009 claimed a Taliban-led force of Afghan and foreign fighters had crossed into Afghanistan from Iran.
Iran has consistently denied any support for the Taliban-led insurgency. Tehran has traditionally supported Afghanistan's minority Shi'ite Hazara population whose members were persecuted under Taliban rule.
Last updated 30/07/2010