Iran’s Strategic Mistake in Recent Developments in Afghanistan

US troop’s withdrawal from Afghanistan seemed to bear some good news for Iran. Khamenei (Iran’s Supreme Leader) welcomed the idea because his regime would have felt no threat from the US forces in its eastern borders. 

Furthermore, he was banking on a coalition between Ashraf Ghani’s government and the Taliban. This relatively weak and fragile alliance could create an opportunity and pave the way for an increase in Iran’s influence in Afghanistan.

With this in mind, Khamenei had ordered then-Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to invite Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to Iran while the Taliban was still considered a terrorist group. It was evident that inviting Mullah Baradar was not within the authority of the Foreign Minister and even President Hassan Rouhani.

In his speech on May 2nd of this year, Khamenei made it clear that “everyone should know that foreign policy is not determined anywhere in the world in the Foreign Ministry. There are high-ranking officials beyond the Foreign Ministry who manifest Iran’s foreign policies. “(Which, of course, meant himself) and continued; “the decision-maker is not Foreign Ministry”. The Foreign Ministry is just the executor.”

Khamenei had sought to reach an agreement with the Taliban on a future government before the US

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