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Afghan president confirms large cash payments by Iranian officials

Posted by The Agonist on October 25th, 2010

From our partners at The Agonist

Laura Kin | Oct 25

LA Times – Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Monday acknowledged that his office regularly received large cash sums from Iranian officials but insisted there was nothing untoward about the payments.

The New York Times, in an article in Monday’s editions, described the periodic transfer of bulging sacks of currency to a senior Karzai aide and strongly suggested that the money was meant to curry favor on behalf of the Tehran government in policy matters.

At a news conference in the capital, the Afghan leader acknowledged receiving semiregular cash payments totaling around $2 million annually from Iran but said the sums were meant to defray governmental operating costs. Other countries, including the United States, make such donations as well, he told reporters.

“The government of Iran assists [the presidential] office,” Karzai said. “Nothing is hidden. … Cash payments are done by various friendly countries to help the presidential office — to help expenses in various ways.”

Hours before Karzai’s disclosure, Iranian authorities in Kabul dismissed the allegations with gusto.

“Such baseless rumors by certain Western media are raised to create anxiety in the public opinion and impair the expanding relations between the two friendly and neighboring countries,” the embassy said in the statement released early Monday, according to the pro-government Fars news agency.

But the revelations also could serve Iran’s interests, underscoring its continued influence in the region even as Washington attempts to isolate Tehran over its continued pursuit of sensitive nuclear technology.

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to “Afghan president confirms large cash payments by Iranian officials”

  1. Jenny says:

    Iran will continue this stuff unless checked. They did have plans to invade Afghanistan to take on the Taliban, but USA did not want that at the time. Afganistan could have been the hammer to smash the regime in Iran.

  2. Reginald says:

    This level of corruption is pretty blatent, and for Karzai, that's saying a lot!

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