Iran Pays ‘Sacks of Cash’ to Influence Afghan Leaders, Leaked Cables Show
December 3, 2010
(ChattahBox World News)—U.S. Embassy cables recently released by Wikileaks reveal that Iran has funded a wide variety of Afghan political and religious figures, including some leaders who were nominated for cabinet positions, the UK Guardian reports. In fact, Iran gave bags of cash to fund the salaries of certain Afghan deputy ministers, although Hamid Karzai aide Omar Daudzai said that some Afghan officials were let go after they accepted money from Iran.
Daudzai said that Iranians were offering Taliban training to Afghans inside Iran, and “thousands of Afghan religious scholars were on the Iranian payroll,” the Guardian reports. Another Afghan source told a U.S. official that an Iranian intelligence officer tried to convince him to discuss the topic of civilian casualties caused by NATO operations. After he refused, he witnessed two MPs who introduced the subject.
Afghan foreign minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta told Americans in 2007 that Iran was “at least as dangerous as Pakistan,” but said when he shared that opinion with the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied it, the Guardian reports.