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US monitoring Iran's efforts to fuel 'unrest, anti-American sentiment' in Afghanistan

Washington, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, Apr 5 (ANI): US intelligence agencies have reportedly increased their attention on monitoring Iran's secret efforts to fuel unrest and anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan.

A New York Times report quoted US officials, as saying that Tehran ordered its undercover agents in Afghanistan to exploit public anger that erupted in the wake of February's Koran burning incident.

"Our sense is that Iran could do more if they chose to. But they have not, and we watch the activity and the relationships very closely," Fox News quoted senior allied commander in Afghanistan, General John R. Allen, as saying.

A US government official told the Times that the Iranian Embassy in Kabul had 'a very active' agenda of triggering anti-American sentiment, but added that it was uncertain if Tehran was deliberately limiting its activities or was incapable of conducting operations that could cause more harm.

Among its operations was an alleged attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US last October, and an alleged attempt to attack Israeli diplomats stationed in Georgia and India earlier this year.

"The attacks failed, so clearly there are kinks in Iran's planning and trade craft," the report quoted the US official, as saying.

US officials say that Iran is boosting its influence in Afghanistan by a series of measures, including building schools, training and arming Afghan insurgents, providing rebels and selected political figures in Yemen with weapons.

According to the report, Allen said that NATO forces were on the lookout for the possibility that Tehran might begin to channel more advanced weapons into the region.

"So we're going to keep a very close eye on those signature weapons, because we think that that will be an indicator of Iran's desire to up the ante, in which case we'll have to take other actions," Allen added. (ANI)

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