In Persian popular culture there is a proverb that says “use your enemy’s hand to catch the snake“. More or less the same strategy adopted by the Islamic Republic after 9/11, in particular with regard to the American military intervention in Afghanistan. The Iranians do not think so simply that they have only one enemy at a time, and they are fairly trained in the practice of double-dealing. It is precisely because of the ambiguity with which since 2001 they have managed relations with their eastern neighbors, their neighbors for more than 800 kilometers, that today the Islamic Republic is almost confused at this appointment with history: beyond beyond the rhetoric, no one sees as a complete victory the American withdrawal from Afghanistan that Joe Biden wants to conclude by 11 September this year. Iran has so far flirted with both the US-allied government in Kabul and the Taliban. It financed them, provided fuel, weapons (found by government soldiers in the hands of those left on the ground after a firefight) and sometimes men. As in 2017, when among the victims of a fight four bodies of alleged Taliban, after some vicissitudes, ended up receiving the funeral in two Iranian villages and it was discovered that they were actually spies from Tehran. The relationship between the Islamic Republic and the Taliban is a tortuous story. The enemies of the West were also theirs, just three years before 9/11 they massacred eleven Iranian diplomats and journalists.
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