Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Afghan President Karzai admits funding from Iran

Read More:
Dave Griffith
Dave Griffith

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has admitted receiving cash from Iran in a move that has got the United States nervous about Tehran’s intentions in the area.

With Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad going on rare foreign visits in the region primarily to thumb his nose at Israel, it signals a more overt phase of Iranian foreign relations after years of relative isolation.

White House spokesman Bill Burton urged Iran to play a more positive role. Mr Burton told reporters that the American people and the global community had “every reason” to be concerned about Iran trying to have a “negative influence” on Afghanistan.

Mr Karzai has denied any wrongdoing, saying the cash was part of a “transparent” process to help to run the president’s office. “The government of Iran has been assisting us with five or six or seven hundred thousand euros once or twice every year, that is an official aid” President Karzai said.

He was responding to reports that Iran had been passing bags stuffed full of cash to Karzai’s Chief of Staff, Umar Daudzai. President Karzai said “This is nothing hidden. We are grateful for the Iranian help in this regard. The United States is doing the same thing, they’re providing cash to some of our offices.”

Perhaps the Americans should chill a bit. Afghanistan is a cash economy and people wanting to win favour with the President make ‘donations’ to his office. It is the way things are done in that part of the world.

It is also the way things are done in Capitol Hill with business interests routinely ‘lobbying’ the Presidents office for support. Usually this lobbying takes the form of ‘donations’. Not much of a view from the moral high ground for the US as far as I can see.

Iran has no love for the Taliban and has invested in infrastructure development in Afghanistan assisting with roading and bridges. As far as newswarped knows they haven’t blown anything up there lately.

President Karzai’s administration might be murky in the extreme but that is more because it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Many Western nations are a lot better at covering things up. Things that if they saw the light of day would reveal just as much graft and corruption as is evident in Afghanistan.

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.