ME Eye: Tehran seems to be supporting the NRF in a limited fashion. Massoud is reportedly close to senior figures in the Iranian leadership, including Qods Force commander Esmail Qaani, and his group is said to receive funding from the government. In backing Massoud, Iran is continuing its old hedging strategy in Afghanistan. The Taliban has so far not proven to be a reliable partner for Tehran, so it makes sense to keep another option in its back pocket. For now there is little appetite in any foreign capital to patronise Massoud and foment resistance against the regime, given the chaos that might ensue. But if the Taliban’s grip on power weakens, Iran will want to get behind the winning horse. Tehran’s ties to the NRF are about more than Afghan politics, though. They are also a consequence of popular feeling in Iran, which is strongly supportive of Massoud and his late father. Click here to read more (external link).