Iran: February 19, 2002


: Although Iran has denied any support for Taliban and al Qaeda elements in Afghanistan. But American special forces and other operatives have spotted Iranian army intel officers and Iranian trained Afghans operating all over western Afghanistan. The Taliban was generally hostile to Iran, because the religiously conservative Sunni Taliban saw Afghan and Iranian Shiia's as slightly bent Moslems. The Iranian religious conservatives do share, with Taliban and al Qaeda, preference for religious orthodoxy and hatred of the west. Religious conservatives control the army in Iran, but it is uncertain what the Iranians are up to in Afghanistan, other than establishing relations with religiously conservative groups among Afghans.

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