Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai in Kabul as “certainly bothersome”. The two former politicians came up short, which is a pity. Gates, who had visited a military base in the Kabul province, had accused Iran of allegedly supporting the Taliban, albeit at a “low level”. Gates’ accusation does not really prove his knowledge about the simple facts: Taliban are Sunni extremists who are arch enemies of Iranian Shi’tes.
When Ahmadinejad, in his press conference after the meeting with Karzai, responded to Gates’ previous allegations of “laying a double game” by reverting his argument, and blaming the U.S. which had “created terrorists in the region and say they are fighting them”, he certainly not only meant the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan but also Jundullah and its recently captured ring leader Abdolmalek Rigi. Sunni extremist organization Jundullah, or ‘Soldiers of God’, is accountable for numerous terroristic attacks in southeastern Iran, the most recent assault being a suicide bombing in the border region between Iran and Pakistan on October 18, 2009, when more than 40 people were killed in an ambush including numerous highly ranked officers of the Revolutionary Guards. Jundullah may be an the CIA payroll since 2007 when former U.S. President G. W. Bush signed an Presidential finding granting 400 million dollars in order to yield a regime change in Iran.
The attack in Sistan-Baluchistan just happened the day before negotiations resumed in Vienna when Iran was supposed to agree to a nuclear swap deal which had been brokered by former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei. In Western mainstream media the deal has widely been reported dead, albeit Iran still seems to be willing to negotiate the general set-up of the swap.
Ahmadinejad’s visit to Kabul might enervate Gates, but thanking Karzai for his assistance (probably also that of Pakistan) in capturing Iran’s public enemy number one was certainly due. It might not have been in the interest of the U.S., but the Obama administration has to answer, in the meantime, the urgent question: Do they really want to shake hands with the Iranian regime which has not unclenched its fist so far for some reason?
Last update March 11, 2010