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Iran explores closer ties with Taliban amid escalating IS threat

AT News

KABUL – Iran is signaling a significant shift in its regional security approach in the aftermath of an attack by the Islamic State in Kerman. President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration is reportedly considering closer collaboration with the Taliban, driven by the increasing threats posed by IS and internal calls for decisive action, as reported by The Diplomat.

The recent attack on January 3, targeting a gathering in Kerman commemorating the late Quds Force commander, Qasem Soleimani, claimed over 90 lives, marking the deadliest strike since Raisi assumed office. In response, there are mounting demands for the dismissal of Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi.

Facing challenges posed by the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, militant groups threaten to fill the void, challenging the Taliban’s control. In response, Iran is reportedly contemplating enhanced collaboration with the Taliban to counter the common adversary, ISKP.

Despite historical differences and disputes over the Iran-Afghanistan border, joint intelligence and counterterrorism operations are reportedly being explored. According to The Diplomat, Vahidi may engage with Afghan Interior Minister Siraj Haqqani to target ISKP camps in Afghanistan, signaling a potential shift in dynamics between Iran and the Taliban.

The focus extends to securing the Iran-Afghanistan border, not only against ISKP but also smaller militant factions and IS-affiliated groups. This cooperative effort, according to The Diplomat, is framed as crucial for regional security, emphasizing the vulnerability of border areas.

Iran’s measured responses, including joint intelligence and counterterrorism operations, reportedly mirror past actions against ISKP. Tehran’s nuanced strategy, blaming external forces for attacks, may serve to mask a potential collaboration with the Taliban against common threats.

As Iran navigates these challenges, the nation’s reported pivot towards the Taliban signifies a strategic realignment in response to the evolving security landscape in the region.

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