Iran denies paying Taliban to target US troops, calls reports propaganda

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Iran on Tuesday denied reports it paid Taliban fighters to target US forces and allies in Afghanistan.

In a statement carried by Iranian media, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called the claims “entirely false” and said the US tries to hide its “miscalculations” in Afghanistan by resorting to propaganda.

On Monday, media reports said US intelligence agencies assessed that Iran offered bounties to Taliban fighters for targeting American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Iran reimbursed the Haqqani network after it conducted at least six attacks against American and coalition interests in 2019, according to a joint intelligence assessment produced in July by the CIA, NSA and NCTC, CNN reported on Monday.

The Haqqani network is led by Sirajuddin Haqqani who is also the deputy leader of the Taliban.

Iran also paid bounties to the Haqqani network for their attack on Bagram Air Base in December 2019, according to a Pentagon briefing document reviewed by CNN. The attack killed two civilians and wounded more than 70 others, including four US personnel.

Iran sees the US forces’ presence in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq as a threat on its doorstep and routinely calls for their departure.

- With The Associated Press

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