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21 May 2009


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Babak Makkinejad


Iranians did something meaningful in the 1990s in Afghanistan - they kept the Northern Alliance supplied.

Iran could not have put into place a state in Afghanistan in the middle of the civil war there. She did not have that kind of power.

Also, neither the Iranian Government nor the Iranian population are interested in an imperial project there. The Iranians do not want to squander their oil wealth on Afghanistan. What is there for any one anyway?


everybody did something. But none was sustainable, because it was merely arming warlords and factions without any clear policy. (We are talking after the collapse of soviet in afghanistan. Hindsight is 20/20.)

Obviously for whatever reason Iran was compelled to do something in afghanistan. (probably preventing taliban expansion, stopping refugee, drug flow, religious kinship, etc.)

fast forward 2009, afghanistan overall picture is still no more than trying to make all warlords sit nicely together. It's a good start, but after taliban problem is gone there should be policy and political direction. Plus economy.

I think DC knows this, but they don't know anybody nor have real allies. So, khalilzad probably is DC top choice, despite Karzai distaste. But Khalilzad has no root. After he is in, the usual shenanigans will play out and things fall apart rather quickly. (Khalilzad would be US's Najibullah) It will be pure client state regime, sustainable only via massive cash aid and military injection.

after next global economic cycle (end of 2020) at most, the whole things will become far too expensive for the economy to support.

that would be the most common plot. My point, if Iran makes itself easy target to get the blame afghanistan failure, Iran won't gain anything.

So logical thing to do for Iran is to play low profile and control all that is beyond the reach of kabul. (international banking in afghanistan, export import gates, economy, industrial feed, mass media, culture, political party, etc)

afghanistan is a big dilemma for US policy, in regard to israel and Russia. If the occupation works, russia, china and Iran freaks out. If it doesn't work, slightly less so. But nobody wants to get the blame for failing to fix afghanistan, because failing afghanistan combined with sinking Pakistan are nasty combination.


so much nuclear fun, so little time.


Security officials in Kazakhstan said Wednesday that the recently imprisoned former chief of the country's nuclear power agency illegally sold uranium mining rights to overseas companies.

Former Kazatomprom boss Mukhtar Dzhakishev took part in crooked deals that squandered the Central Asian state's uranium resources and netted him tens of thousands of dollars, the KNB security service said.

The accusations by the KNB -- the Kazakh successor to the Soviet KGB -- came less than a week after Dzhakishev was replaced as head of the country's atomic-energy and uranium-mining monopoly and thrown behind bars.

"Preliminary results of the investigation show that Mukhtar Dzhakishev and other managers.... squandered state property in the form of Kazakhstan's largest uranium fields by handing them to a number of offshore companies," the KNB said in a statement.

Babak Makkinejad


As far as I can tell from public Internet sources these are what I can tell:

1- Iranian government, on behest of a number of foreign states, are trying to coordinate an effort with Pakistan and Afghanistan to contain the so-called Taliban.

2- Iranian government has continued with its foreign aide to Afghanistan and has fulfilled its pledges to her.

3- Iranian government has encouraged trade and commerece between the two countries, specially in Northwestern Afghanistan.

4- Iranian government has publicly expressed its disagreement with the course of action that US is pursuing in Afghanistan.

We always come back to the same thing - namely the Concert of the Middle East (Islam-dom).

It is impossible to expect anything but a zero-sum game otherwise.

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