Shouldn't the US have enough influence to keep Iranian propaganda off the air in Afghanistan?
Iran continues playing all sides of the Afghan conflict. While aiding al-Qaeda and renegade elements of the ousted Taliban, it's also rearming ethnic factions in northern Afghanistan and penetrating government circles. Tajik generals now controlling Afghanistan's key security ministries, who depended heavily on Iranian support during their decadelong struggle against the Taliban, persistently are courted by Iran, which was the first country to reopen its embassy in Kabul.
"Without Iran, most Northern Alliance commanders couldn't have operated in Afghanistan at a time when they had no other source of international support," says a senior Afghan government source. "Almost every important Afghan commander has family living in Iran and most of them were educated in fundamentalist religious schools, or madrassas."
During the last year, Iran's foreign ministry has organized a series of private trips to Tehran for key members of the Karzai government, including Defense Minister Fahim, Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, Interior Minister Yunis Qanuni and National Security Chief Aref Sarwari.
Iran has supplied high-powered transmitters and funding to re-establish Afghan television and radio, which provide the only news service in a country with 80 percent illiteracy. The broadcasts now are laced with radical Islamic, anti-American propaganda and disinformation spun out by the Iranian government's IRNA news agency. During the last month, broadcasting regulations have been reintroduced that prohibit foreign films showing unveiled women.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 November 06 08:56 AM Axis Of Evil|