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Iran's influence in Afghanistan: implications for the U.S. drawdown

Iran's influence in Afghanistan: implications for the U.S. drawdown

Nader, Alireza, author

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. Kabul faces an obdurate insurgency that is likely to exploit the U.S. and international drawdown. The Afghan government will also face many economic difficulties in future years, and Afghanistan is highly dependent on international economic aid. Additionally, the biggest problem facing Afghanistan may be political corruption. Iranian influence in Afghanistan following the drawdown of international forces need not necessarily be a cause of concern for the United States though. 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. This study examines Iran's historic interests in Afghanistan and its current policies in that country, and explores the potential implications for U.S. policy. The research is based on field interviews in Afghanistan, the use of primary sources in Dari and Persian, and scholarly research in English

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Santa Monica, California : RAND 2014

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Alireza Nader [and four others]
ISBN: 083308593X, 9780833085931
Note: Print version record.
Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (xi, 58 pages)
Subject: Diplomatic relations.; Iran Foreign relations United States.; United States Foreign relations Iran.; Peace.; Afghan War, 2001- Peace.; POLITICAL SCIENCE International Relations General.; POLITICAL SCIENCE Government International.; Afghanistan.; United States.; Political stability.; Afghan War (2001- ); Iran Foreign relations Afghanistan.; Iran.; United States Foreign relations Afghanistan.; POLITICAL SCIENCE Security (National & International); Strategic aspects of individual places.; Afghanistan Strategic aspects.; Afghanistan Foreign relations.; Political stability Afghanistan.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Introduction
  2. Iran and Afghanistan: A Complicated Relationship
  3. Iran and Other Powers in Afghanistan
  4. Conclusion and Implications for the United States.