At first glance, Iran appears to be unconvinced about Afghanistan’s new President Ashraf Ghani, and the feeling is probably mutual. Ghani chose Saudi Arabia, China and then Pakistan as the first countries to visit as president, and has yet to visit Tehran.
Iran’s ambivalence toward Ghani’s rise to power in Kabul still cannot lessen Tehran’s interest in remaining a key actor on the Afghan scene. Nor should it. Iran is, after all, one of the largest stakeholders in the future of Afghanistan. Thanks to its geographic proximity, Afghan affairs — good or bad — have an instant impact on Iran.