NATO CIMIC: The Role of Iran in Afghanistan’s Reconstruction & Development

NATO Civ-Mil Ctr
Farsi Language Zones
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PDF (10 Pages):  20130816 NATO CIMIC Iran_Reconstruction_Afghanistan

This report provides a broad overview of the contribution of the Islamic Republic of Iran to reconstruction and development in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. It complements previous CFC reports discussing the role of China, India and Pakistan in Afghanistan’s reconstruction, development and exploitation of natural resources. Related information is available at www.cimicweb.org.

Iran has been an active player in Afghanistan‟s reconstruction and development since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, with the Afghan government frequently lauding Iran for its assistance to the country. For instance, in June 2013, Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai praised Iran as “a very good neighbour”, while stressing a need for expansion of ties and cooperation between the two countries. Similarly, in February 2013, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul hailed Iran‟s positive role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.  While this report primarily focuses on reconstruction and development – related projects, it is useful to situate these within a broader context of Iran‟s regional economic objectives and its foreign policy toward Afghanistan.  As noted by Ellen Laipson of the Stimson Center, Iran would prefer to see Afghanistan
emerge from decades of conflict as “a more reliable trading partner, transit route, and competent state that can [reduce] the flow of drugs and refugees across its border, [as well as ] prevent non-state actors from operating on its territory”.   These factors, among others, have guided Iran‟s reconstruction and development efforts in the country.