ANALYSIS: Iran’s great game antagonises natural Afghan allies

KABUL – Karte Seh in western Kabul can feel like a slice of Iran tucked away in the Afghan capital. An imposing madrassa, built by Iran in 2006, dominates with its Persian domes and arches. Women eschew the Afghan burqa for Iranian-style chadors, and Shia imams preach to congregations drawn from the area’s Persian-speaking Hazara community.

Iran’s influence has long been felt in the area and its political offices. Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s pushed many Hazara to seek out Tehran as a counterweight to the onslaught of the Sunni Taliban, and Iran hosts millions of Hazara refugees and migrants who fled the fighting looking for a better life…


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