Iran cheers U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan — but fears what could follow

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from The Washington Post,

As Western forces exit Afghanistan, Iran is watching with alarm. The resolution of one long-standing aim, the withdrawal of U.S. troops, is unleashing a separate challenge: what to do about the Taliban, another longtime problem for Iran, swiftly regaining power and territory next door.

The Afghan government said Friday that the Taliban had captured a key border crossing between Iran and Afghanistan.

Iran, ruled by Shiite clerics, and the Taliban, a radical Sunni movement, are at fundamental odds, and Iran has long bristled at the Taliban’s treatment of non-Sunni minorities.

Tehran fears both Taliban rule and Afghanistan returning to civil war, a destabilizing prospect likely to imperil the country’s ethnic Persian and Shiite communities, send more waves of Afghan refugees across the border and empower Sunni militancy in the region.

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