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The Odd Couple: Why Iran Is Backing the Taliban

Mar 8, 2018 | 12:28 GMT
In the Surkh Rod district of Afghanistan, a man displaced by the Islamic State's Khorasan chapter makes his way home.
(Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

In the conflict in Afghanistan, there are few stranger bedfellows than Iran and the Taliban. The former is the spiritual hub of Shiite Islam, while the latter is a vociferously anti-Shiite Sunni fundamentalist movement. Changing circumstances, however, have brought the onetime foes into a kind of partnership. Whatever its ideological differences with the insurgent outfit, Tehran has every reason to maintain its tactical partnership with the Taliban -- while also keeping its ties to the Afghan government....

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