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What the US-Afghan agreement means for Iran

The US agreement with the Taliban could prove to be an added burden to Iran, which has serious concerns about the deal creating instability in neighboring Afghanistan.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the leader of the Taliban delegation, and Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan, shake hands after signing an agreement at a ceremony between members of Afghanistan's Taliban and the U.S. in Doha, Qatar February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Ibraheem al Omari - RC2LAF91DVTE

The month of February came to a close with a watershed event: The United States formally signed an agreement with the Taliban, the Islamist militant group it has been fighting in Afghanistan since October 2001. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Feb. 29 with Taliban delegation leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Doha, Qatar, and announced the agreement, which Baradar and veteran US diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad signed. The ceremony followed a “reduction in violence” agreement that took effect Feb. 21.

Advocates of these agreements believe they will pave the way for US and other foreign troops to gradually withdraw from Afghanistan within 14 months, heralding the end of the 18-year war that Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute has pointed out has lasted “longer than the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and Korean War combined.”

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