June 19, 2019
Washington will have to provide smoking-gun type evidence before any sane person believes the allegation that Iran was behind a recent terrorist attack in Kabul. Given the lack of any credible material proof we are forced to look at motives and capabilities of all relevant actors, in addition to other circumstantial evidence, which all point to the conclusion that the United States is either lying or has the world’s worst intelligence sources.
During a press briefing on June 13, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for a car bomb attack in Afghanistan that wounded four U.S. service members and killed four Afghan civilians. The allegation was part of a pattern the United States was trying to establish to back the notion that Iran was behind the recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Although it is not out of the question that Iran was behind the tanker incidents, throwing in the accusation about the attack in Kabul undermines the entire argument.
Pompeo would double down on this assertion in an interview with CBS that was aired three days later. The show host, however, pushed back by noting that the Taliban took credit for the attack.
“In that same statement the Taliban said they killed 10 people. I would suggest to you that the credibility of the Taliban is not something you ought to bring onto your show,” Pompeo said during the interview. “We have confidence that Iran instigated this attack. I- I can’t share any more of the intelligence. But I wouldn’t have said it if the intelligence community hadn’t become convinced that this was the case.”
Just like Iraq and WMDs it is hard to ever know if the intelligence community fabricated the evidence to satiate the bosses or whether the bosses distorted the information provided.
Occam’s Razor would tell us that raw stupidity is the most likely reason behind Pompeo’s accusation given it requires the least speculation based on his and White House National Security Adviser John Bolton’s statements, policies and actions vis-a-vis Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, and, of course, Afghanistan.
Moreover, there are a slew of reasons as to why Iran was not involved in this incident while the United States has every reason to fabricate the allegation.
Regional experts and a former State Department official told The Washington Post that such an attack did not meet Iran’s mode of operandi nor did it serve any political purpose.
“This [Trump] administration is itching for a fight with Iran,” Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Wilson Center’s Asia program was quoted as saying in the article published on June 16. “Unfortunately, that sometimes entails making some accusations against Iran that are somewhat questionable.”
Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, was even blunter about the U.S. accusations.
“A serial liar is [U.S.] president. A warmonger and a serial fabricator who helped get us into the disastrous Iraq war and who has sabotaged numerous attempts at diplomacy is the [national security] advisor. But go ahead, media, treat Pompeo’s accusations as ‘evidence,’” Parsi said in a Twitter post on June 13.
Moreover, the governments of Iran and Afghanistan have been cooperating on many fronts in recent years and have vowed to work together even more closely.
On June 15, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Bishkek called for the Islamic Republic to be more actively involved with the negotiation process to end the conflict in Afghanistan. Ghani also said the two countries should cooperate even more to fight terrorism, drugs and extremism.
A few days earlier, Iranian officials and their counterparts in Afghanistan announced that the countries would be boosting collaboration on nuclear projects.
Afghanistan also continues to import Iranian crude despite U.S. sanctions. Point being, Iran has little reason to orchestrate a terrorist attack on Afghan territory at this point in time.
Plus, if Iran was conducting these attacks to strike back at the United States and deter its aggressive policies, why would Tehran deny being involved?
The U.S. has been using Afghanistan in its bid to spark a war with Iran for some time and has and continues to attempt to drive a wedge between the two neighbors. Pompeo’s very appointment of Zalmay Khalilzad as special envoy to Afghanistan was part of a plan to advance Washington’s anti-Iranian agenda. The Afghan native turned neoconservative has never concealed his disdain for the mullahs in Iran and recently warned Tehran to stay out of the Afghan reconciliation process.
In short, the Trump administration has gone to great lengths to try and depict Iran as a menace despite the fact that the United States has proven to be a bigger threat to Afghanistan, the region – and the world – than Iran ever was or likely will be.