Iran’s Influence in Afghanistan

Iran’s Influence in Afghanistan: Implications for the U.S. Drawdown

Alireza Nader
Ali G. Scotten
Ahmad Idrees Rahmani
Robert Stewart
Leila Mahnad
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt1287mjf
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  • Book Info
    Iran’s Influence in Afghanistan
    Book Description:

    This study explores Iranian influence in Afghanistan and the implications for the United States after most U.S. forces depart Afghanistan in 2016. Iran has substantial economic, political, cultural, and religious leverage in Afghanistan. Although Iran will attempt to shape a post-2014 Afghanistan, Iran and the United States share core interests: to prevent the country from again becoming dominated by the Taliban and a safe haven for al Qaeda.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8593-1
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Summary
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  7. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    This study explores Iranian influence in Afghanistan and the implications for the United States after the departure of most American forces from Afghanistan. Iran has substantial economic, political, cultural, and religious leverage in Afghanistan. There is a chance that Tehran can use its influence to undermine U.S. interests, especially if a failure to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis leads to increasing tensions between the United States and Iran, including a possible military conflict.

    However, the election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s president and a potential breakthrough in nuclear negotiations could herald greater cooperation between Iran and the United States in...

  8. CHAPTER TWO Iran and Afghanistan: A Complicated Relationship
    (pp. 5-22)

    Iran’s ambitions in Afghanistan should not be viewed as hegemonic. Tehran does not believe that it can completely dominate its neighbor; instead, it has certain interests to protect, including securing its eastern border, preserving the flow of water from Afghanistan, countering narcotics, and dealing with the large Afghan refugee population on its soil. Tehran is particularly anxious to prevent a total Taliban victory in Afghanistan and the expansion of Pakistani power. It also does not desire a long-term U.S. military presence in Afghanistan; Iran is the only regional power that has actively opposed the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) being negotiated...

  9. CHAPTER THREE Iran and Other Powers in Afghanistan
    (pp. 23-44)

    As the Islamic Republic of Iran prepares for the withdrawal of U.S. forces and ISAF from Afghanistan in 2016, the strategy it pursues will be influenced in large part by the actions of Pakistan, India, and Russia. While the new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, has promised to usher in an era of nonconfrontational and constructive relations with nations both near and far, the extent to which Tehran will cooperate or clash with Islamabad, New Delhi, and Moscow in Afghanistan depends on the nature of the broader relations it holds with these governments and, in turn, their relations with the United...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR Conclusion and Implications for the United States
    (pp. 45-48)

    Iranian influence in Afghanistan following the drawdown of international forces need not necessarily be a cause of concern for the United States. Although Tehran will use its cultural, political, and economic sway in an attempt to shape a post-2016 Afghanistan, Iran and the United States share core interests there: to prevent the country from again becoming dominated by the Taliban and a safe haven for al Qaeda.

    Because maintaining stability and furthering development are the most effective means of arriving at that end state, these areas provide ripe opportunities for cooperation between the United States and Iran. Referring to U.S.-Iran...

  11. References
    (pp. 49-58)