Afghan President Admits Accepting Cash From Iran
October 25, 2010
Afghanistan (ChattahBox World News) — Last week’s New York Times report indicating that Iran’s ambassador to Afghanistan was seen handing Afghan president Hamid Karzai a plastic bag filled with cash sounded more like a movie script than a page from reality — but the report was confirmed today by none other than Karzai himself, a Bloomberg report indicates.
The Iranian government has offered such financial assistance to Afghanistan at least once a year as part of a “very transparent” system ever since Afghanistan’s transitional government was put in place, Karzai said. The maximum amount that he admits accepting from Iran is 500,000 euros, although the payments sometimes total less, he said during a press conference today reported by Bloomberg.
Karzai accepted the payment from Ambassador Feda Hussein Maliki as part of a “stream that totals millions of dollars,” and the purpose was to champion Iran’s interests and to keep Western influence at bay in Afghanistan, the Times noted. Karzai himself indicated that the money was spent on the “construction of the Afghan government,” Bloomberg noted.
American policymakers were none too pleased with this revelation, with one State Department spokesman cautioning Iran to stop interfering with the Afghan government’s internal affairs, Bloomberg said.