Iranian Access Routes into Afghanistan


In a recent item in the NYT (December 31), there was extensive discussion of the need for alternative supply routes into Afghanistan for both military and development assistance. The Khyber pass may simply become too exposed to use successfully.


Although a quick look at the map would suggest that transit through Iran is the obvious alternative, Iran was notably absent from the discussion. Compared to the use of Central Asia, which was emphasized in the article, it would be much more cost effective to land supplies at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf and use its rail and road connections to Mashhad in northeast Iran. From Mashhad, there are well developed roads and may soon be railroads to Herat in Afghanistan.


We may not like the Iranian regime, but we did not let such considerations bar us from using Iran as a conduit for supplies for Stalin’s USSR in World War II.


Iran helped us in the beginning of our Afghan adventure, has maintained good relations with Kabul, and its Shiite adherents are mortal enemies of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Let us build on our common interests so that we might forge a more effective and less costly Middle Eastern Strategy. This should be high on the agenda when President Obama “sits down” with the Iranians.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Afghanistan War, Blogroll, Iranian Region, western ideology

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