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Iran's Policy on Afghanistan: The Evolution of Strategic Pragmatism
Bruce Koepke
ISBN 978-91-85114-79-5

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Iran, with its breadth of experience in Afghanistan and long support for the reconstruction and stabilization of Afghanistan, could continue to play a constructive role after the withdrawal of international forces in 2014. In this report the author details the evolution of Iran's policy of strategic pragmatism in Afghanistan. Understanding this policy could provide an opportunity for the international community to re-engage with Iran on a broad range of issues of mutual concern.

This paper is published under the Wider Central Asia Initiative, a two-year SIPRI project to promote and facilitate dialogue among the main external stakeholders in Afghanistan's future. The initiative is funded by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.


1. Introduction
2. Iran's engagement in Afghanistan: from the Islamic Revolution to the fall of the Taliban, 1979-2001
3. Iran's engagement with Afghanistan: from the US-led invasion to the foreign withdrawal, 2001-14
4. Iran's post-2014 engagement in Afghanistan
5. Conclusions and recommendations

Related publications

Decoding Pakistan's 'Strategic Shift' in Afghanistan, by Moeed Yusuf (May 2013)

Europe, Afghanistan and the Transatlantic Relationship after 2014, by Erik Brattberg (May 2013)

Relations between Afghanistan and Central Asian states after 2014: Incentives, Constraints and Prospects, by Nargis Kassenova (May 2014)

About the author

Dr Bruce Koepke (Australia/Germany) is a Senior Researcher with SIPRI's Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme who has been working on and in Afghanistan for the past 15 years. Prior to joining SIPRI he was employed with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), initially based in northern Afghanistan and Kabul and later in Tehran, where he headed UNAMA's liaison office.

Publisher: SIPRI
ISBN 978-91-85114-79-5
29 pp.
September 2013
Price: €7.50 per copy plus €5 shipping and handling per order


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