Occupying Afghanistan


[A report about Iran asking the U.S. to occupy Afghanistan after September 11 attacks.]

MEHDI FALAHATI reads a quotation from former U.S. ambassador: Ryan Crocker, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, writes in his memoir—the parts about Iran have been published by Borna news agency—that there was a meeting between representatives of U.S. government and the Islamic Republic in Geneva. “In that meeting, the Iranian delegate asked for the occupation of Afghanistan by the U.S. What was the most interesting thing for me was their (Iranians’) enthusiasm for deploying American forces –i.e. the Great Satan—to Iran’s backyard which is Afghanistan. It was early October, almost a month after September 11 attacks. And we were sitting behind the table in one of the UN conference halls and were talking about the structure of the parliament after Taliban. The bombing of Afghanistan by the U.S. started a few days later.”

FALAHATI asks if this was true: These are remarks of Ryan Crocker, who is one of the U.S. senior, famous diplomats and was the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Dadkhah, do you confirm this?

SHAHIN DADKHAH (diplomat and former security agent of the Islamic Republic) approves of this: Well, you see, as for Afghanistan, as you all know, after the occupation of Afghanistan by Taliban, Taliban actually became a potential threat against Iran’s national security. Iran couldn’t allow that a group like Taliban rule over Afghanistan, and let Afghanistan become the backyard for its main regional rival such as Saudi Arabia. Well, in this framework, Iran had tactical cooperation with the U.S. itself, and the remarks of the diplomat that you mentioned is absolutely true. Iran had a lot of cooperation with the U.S. about Afghanistan with regard to security and information issues. Of course, this cooperation was completely tactical. But the Americans followed wrong strategies in this regard.

MEHDI FALAHATI says: Well, Dr. Dadkhah, we are not talking about the U.S. strategies here. Let’s move forward about this specific topic. We are short of time. Anyway, this was a point I wanted to clarify, just to see how accurately Ryan Crocker has said it. And you said that Iranian government demanded the U.S. to occupy Afghanistan. After September 11, Islamic Republic asked the U.S. to occupy Afghanistan.