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Iran has opted to close its border with Afghanistan

Iran has opted to seal its border with Afghanistan in response to escalating terrorist activities in the region.

The presence of various terrorist groups, including the TTP and the Islamic State of Khorasan, within Afghanistan has led to cross-border terrorist activities affecting neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Iran. Additionally, tensions and clashes along the Pakistan-Afghan and Iran-Afghan borders have intensified.

Since the Afghan Taliban assumed power in 2021, terrorism in the region has seen a surge. To counter the infiltration of terrorism from Afghan territory, Pakistan erected a lengthy fence along its border with Afghanistan. In light of rising terrorist activities, Iran has also made the decision to fortify its border with Afghanistan.

According to Iran’s foreign ministry, four Army Border Engineering Groups have initiated operations in northeastern Iran to seal the border with Afghanistan. This sealing effort will encompass provinces such as Mazandaran, Gulistan, Rizvi Khorasan, North Khorasan, South Khorasan, and Samnan.

Brigadier General Hassan Makfi, the Ground Forces Commander, disclosed that Iran’s Ministry of Interior has allocated a $3 billion budget for the construction of barbed wire fences and a four-meter high concrete wall along the Iran-Afghan border.

Iranian Minister of Defense Mohammad Reza Ashtiani highlighted the continuous efforts of the Taliban to resurrect terrorist groups like Daesh, posing a significant threat to the region.

Iran’s decision to seal its Afghan border was commended internationally. Caspian News noted the dramatic rise in illegal immigration, terrorism, and drug trafficking from Afghanistan into Iran since the Taliban’s rise to power. The report revealed that over 8 million Afghan citizens were residing illegally in Iran, prompting the deportation of 5 million by the Iranian government.

The eastern and southeastern regions of Iran are utilized as primary routes for drug trafficking into Europe by the Taliban.

Water disputes between Iran and Afghanistan have also escalated since the Taliban’s ascent to power. Despite a February 2021 agreement stipulating the allocation of 820 million cubic meters of water from Helmand to Iran annually, the agreement remains unimplemented.

While the closure of the Afghan border is not anticipated to adversely affect the economies of Pakistan and Iran, the Taliban’s ability to manage their precarious economy post-border closure remains uncertain.

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