Iran has allowed the Taliban to open an office in eastern Iran and discussed providing them with surface-to-air missiles, ramping up the potential for cooperation with the insurgents, The Wall Street Journal
reported Tuesday, July 31. Iran’s shift came after the U.S. and Afghanistan sealed a long-term partnership agreement in May, and in an effort to expand its options for retaliation should its nuclear facilities be attacked, senior Afghan and Western officials said. The officials said the Iranians continue to provide “low-level lethal support” and training in Iran to the insurgency, and the possible introduction of surface-to-air missiles should be seen as Iran’s contingency planning. The dozens of U.S. bases in Afghanistan are on Iran’s doorstep, and would be the most effective way for Iran to strike back if it is attacked first, officials say.