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The Baluch are another ethnic group that lives in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

The Baluch constitute two percent of the Iranian population or roughly 1.3 million people.

While the Iranian leaders welcomed the fall of the Taliban, they also saw the presence of American troops in neighboring Afghanistan as a national security threat.

Tehran’s support for insurgent groups in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, has been a source of great anxiety for the ISAF and Afghan forces struggling to stabilize Afghanistan.

Iran also has a Sunni Muslim minority, which accounts for nine percent of the population or 5.9 million people.Under the auspices of the UN, Tehran participated in the Bonn Conference, and was instrumental to the final agreement, which established the Afghan Interim Authority in December 2001.Iran subsequently pursued a sophisticated policy towards Afghanistan. The event summary broadly defines Iran’s interests in Afghanistan through the prism of: the flow of Afghan refugees to Iran who have “adverse social and economic” impact on the Iranian society; containing of “radicalism” ; and drug trafficking.Thus, Tehran supported the formation of an anti-Taliban coalition composed of mostly Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara factions—including Hezb-e Wahdat.

This United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, also known as the Northern Alliance, was led by deposed ethnic Tajik President Burhanuddin Rabbani and his military commander Ahmad Shah Massoud.

Incensed at the killing of its citizens and the Taliban’s horrific treatment of Shia minorities, Iran amassed a quarter of a million troops along the border with Afghanistan and threatened to invade.



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