Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gambit to link Iran to the Taliban backfires

By Gareth Porter
Asia Times

"WASHINGTON - A media campaign portraying Iran as supplying arms to the Taliban fighting US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Afghanistan, orchestrated by advocates in the US administration of a more confrontational stance toward Iran, appears to have backfired. Last week, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Dan McNeil, issued unusually strong denials.

The allegation that Iran had reversed a decade-long policy and was now supporting the Taliban, conveyed in a series of press articles quoting "senior officials" in recent weeks, is related to a broader effort by officials aligned with US Vice President Dick Cheney to portray Iran as supporting Sunni insurgents, including al-Qaeda, to defeat the United States in both Iraq and Afghanistan......."

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