Iran implements border blockade plan with Afghanistan

Iran is fortifying its eastern border with Afghanistan to enhance security, combat illegal immigration, and curb drug trafficking from the neighboring country, Iranian media reported, quoting officials.

“Four teams of army engineers have arrived in northeastern Iran to implement the country’s border blockade plan,” said Brig. Gen. Hassan Makfi, the commander of Iran’s ground forces, as quoted by Iranian media.

State media reported that during a naming ceremony for various facilities, the ground forces commander announced that the budget has been allocated for the project.

The funds will cover the construction of walls, installation of barbed wire, fences, and a road along the border, with completion expected over the next three years.

The project will be implemented in the northeastern region of Iran, including the provinces of Mazandaran, Golestan, Razavi Khorasan, North Khorasan, South Khorasan, and Semnan.

Meanwhile, at a defense ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Kazakhstan on April 26, Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said, “Iran sees the renewed and ongoing efforts of defeated powers in Afghanistan to revive terrorist groups like ISIS as a significant threat to the security landscape of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.”

However, since the Taliban regained control in Afghanistan in August 2021, there have been ongoing clashes between them and Iranian border forces.

Over the past three years, these clashes have resulted in military and civilian casualties on both sides, with each blaming the other for the violence.

A joint statement by the presidents of Pakistan and Iran, released following Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Islamabad, declared the presence of “terrorist groups” under the Taliban’s administration in Afghanistan as a serious threat to regional and global security.