Senior Iranian commander downplays tensions with Taliban, blames unnamed ‘enemies’

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A senior Iranian military commander downplayed tensions between Iran and the Taliban on Monday, placing the blame on unnamed “enemies” who he claimed were attempting to incite a conflict between the Islamic Republic and Afghanistan’s rulers.

This follows an incident on Saturday near a border post between Iran and Afghanistan, where two Iranian border guards and a Taliban fighter were killed in a gunfire exchange.


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“Regarding Afghanistan, there have been incidents on the border, but they are being managed by the forces that are there … there is not much to worry about,” said Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

“Behind these cases, there are many of our enemies who want to turn this into a big issue, turn it into a war, which will absolutely not happen,” he added.

Hajizadeh did not identify the so-called enemies he was referring to, but Iranian officials typically refer to the US and Israel as such.

Saturday’s incident came amid tensions between the two neighbors over water rights. Both sides accused the other of initiating the gunfire.

Iran has accused the Taliban of breaching a 1973 treaty by impeding the flow of water from the Helmand River to Iran’s eastern regions. The Taliban has denied the allegations.

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