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Why should Iran accept US presence in Afghanistan?

Iran has an interest in keeping a military presence in Afghanistan to keep its enemy the Taliban in check, and should drop its rhetoric against US troops being stationed there for much of the same objectives.
Afghan children gesture at U.S. soldiers from Grim Company of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment as they stand guard near an Afghan police checkpoint during a mission near Forward Operating Base Fenty in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan December 19, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT) - RTR4INDK

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.

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