The Iranian regime is trying to replicate the model of its Popular Mobilization militias in Afghanistan, after the Revolutionary Guards succeeded in imposing this model in Iraq in recent years. The current Afghan government fears Iran’s efforts to organize armed Shiite groups in Kabul and other areas inhabited by Shiites under the pretext of fighting extremist organizations, which threatens to plunge the people into a sectarian war similar to the one that broke out in Iraq.
The Iranian newspaper Jomhouri-e Eslami, which is close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, published a report on the preparations of Shiite organizations in popular neighborhoods in the capital and rural areas. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tried to downplay the matter by saying that the number of the Fatemiyoun Brigade’s fighters does not exceed 5,000, and it was formed to act as a support force for the Afghan forces to combat ISIS.
Tehran is exploiting the Afghan government’s preoccupation with confronting the Taliban to mobilize its forces on the ground with the help of the Afghani Shiite Fatemiyoun militia that are fighting in Syria. It has entered the stage of general mobilization to fight the Taliban so far, but Tehran can send thousands of Afghani Fatemiyoun fighters from Iran and Syria to Afghanistan to get involved in a civil war, especially in the mixed sectarian areas such as regions of the capital, Kabul, and Bamyan province.
The Revolutionary Guards established the Fatemiyoun Brigade in 2015 with Afghan refugees in Iran. There are no reliable numbers about the militia, but some estimates reach 80,000 fighters, although most of them are fighting in Syria. This has reinforced the Afghan authorities’ concern about Iran’s role in organizing Shiite militias as it did with Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen.
Shah Hossein Mortazavi
The Afghan government rejects Iran’s moves on its soil. The supervisor of the Afghan Ministry of Intelligence, Qassem Wafaizadeh, accused the Iranian regime of creating greater dimensions for the Afghan war, warning that its fire could grow and reach inside Iranian territory.
Shah Hossein Mortazavi, an advisor to the Afghan president, also noted that Iran’s actions only brighten the image of the Taliban and incite sedition, pointing out that Afghanistan must be protected from the models in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, where Iran contributed to creating sectarian conflicts.
Source » theportal-center