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Iran-Afghanistan border tensions continue

The Islamic Republic and the Taliban have formed a committee to address violence on the border.
WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

Border clashes are continuing on Iran’s border with Afghanistan, prompting the two countries to formally meet on the issue. 

Iran’s Deputy Interior Minister Seyyed Majid Mir-Ahmadi said yesterday that border guards for the Taliban government in Afghanistan shot at Iranian border guards late last month. Iranian forces returned fire, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. 

Today, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s special representative to Afghanistan, announced the formation of a joint committee between the two countries to prevent further border conflicts. The announcement followed Qomi’s meeting with the Afghan Ministry of Defense. 

Why it matters: There have been a particularly high number of border clashes between Iranian and Afghan forces along the border recently. In June, Taliban officials said a “misunderstanding” led to a skirmish with Iranian border guards. In July, the Abresham border crossing was closed for about two weeks due to clashes, the Afghan news outlet Khaama reported. 

Some of the past incidents involved criminal groups operating in Afghanistan.

Know more: Iran’s relations with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan have been mixed since the Taliban took over the country last year, following the US military withdrawal. In April, Iranian officials confirmed that Taliban representatives were working at the Afghan Embassy in Tehran, though Iran has yet to formally recognize the Taliban government. 

The same month, angry Afghans threw rocks at an Iranian consulate in Afghanistan in response to reports of Afghan refugees being mistreated in Iran.

In July, the Taliban agreed to buy oil from Iran, according to Iranian press reports.