DNI Blair on Iran and Afghanistan in Washington:
Blair’s description of Iran’s relationship with one of those actors, the Taliban, is most interesting. He said the intelligence community’s judgment is that "Iran distrusts the Taliban and its return to power." …
But Blair also said Iran is providing the Taliban some "lethal aid," to help keep pressure on U.S. and NATO forces, to gather intelligence on what is going on, and as insurance in case the Taliban ends up controlling the country.
General Petraeus on Iran and Afghanistan in Doha:
Iran is helping Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, said General David Petraeus, who is in charge of U.S. forces in the Central Asian nation and Iraq.
“There is a willingness to provide some degree of assistance to make the life of those who are trying to help the Afghan people difficult,” Petraeus told a conference today in the Qatari capital, Doha.
Petraeus gave no details of the Iranian assistance, which he described as taking place at “a small level."
Envoy Holbrooke on Iran and Afghanistan in Kabul:
“It is absolutely clear that Iran plays an important role in Afghanistan,” Mr. Holbrooke said during an interview on Sunday with Tolo TV, a private Afghan television network. “They have a legitimate role to play in this region, as do all of Afghanistan’s neighbors.”
He also passed up an opportunity to criticize Tehran about allegations — some made by NATO officials — that it has provided help to Taliban guerrillas in Afghanistan.
“I heard those reports,” Mr. Holbrooke said. “I talked to the military command about them. I did not have enough time really to get into the details yet, but I will get into it on future trips.”
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