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Tehran Media Draw Parallel Between Corruption In Iran And Afghanistan

In the aftermath of Afghanistan's takeover by the Taliban, Iranian media have warned the government about the perils of over-reliance on foreign powers and suggested that Tehran should fight financial corruption, which is the biggest threat to the existence of the Islamic Republic.

In an article by social scientist and analyst Omid Jahanshahi on Tuesday, proreform news website Asr Iran, warned the government in Tehran that financial corruption is the biggest element that separates the people from the government as it erodes the people's trust, at the same time distracting officials from foreign threats.

The article maintained that the quick pace of events in Afghanistan caried lessons for the Iranian government. The first lesson, it said, was that there is no threat more serious than financial corruption.

The report argued that widespread corruption in the Afghan administration was the main reason why 300,000 troops failed to stop the advances of less than 80 thousand Taliban militia, with inferior weapons.

"The disappointing downfall proved how corruption can weaken the pillars of a regime and make the system inefficient and incompetent," the article said, quoting conservative Iranian politician Ahmad Tavakoli as having said in 2006: "If we do not fight corruption, it will lead to the downfall of the Islamic Republic. Corruption can clatter any government."

The second lesson, said the article, is to avoid reliance on the West. "The downfall of a government that was an ally of the United States disappointed some and made others upbeat. Some in Afghanistan thought that friendship with America, a country that spent billions of dollars to support Afghanistan, would make the country invincible. Others are upbeat, and say that years of submission to America did not bear any fruit."

The article, ignoring multiple other examples, maintained that except in South Korea, America's support has never led to development in any country. The website warned that friendship with and reliance on the United States does not bring political stability and economic development. The article added that it is self-reliance in economy and foreign trade that bring about stability and growth.

"The concept of East and West has been replaced in modern world by a global network in which China and America maintain close trade relations and Europe invests more than 140 billion euros in China," the article said, suggesting that Iran should rely on its own capabilities while trying to be part of the global network. 

Meanwhile, in an analysis entitled "Let us not make a mistake about Afghanistan," Conservative website Tabnak wrote: "The officials in charge of Iran's foreign policy should know that what happened in Afghanistan will impact no country more than Iran."

Tabnak wrote: "Afghanistan is not the prime issue for the United States, Russia and China. But it is a major issue for Iran, a country that has always been concerned about Afghanistan for humanitarian and other reasons. So, how to interact with Afghanistan and its new political system is a major issue for Iran."

According to Tabnak, this interaction is particularly important in a world which according to former British Foreign Secretary William Hague, West's diplomacy will be based on international isolation in the years to come as Western governments have concluded that what happens in other countries should not be part of their concerns.

The website highlighted two mistakes in Iran's behavior during the two days following the Taliban takeover: One mistake is waiting for Western countries reaction to Afghan developments, and another mistake was trying to align Iran's policy regarding Afghanistan with Russia’s and China's policy. This said the website, "is surprising for a country such as Iran that will be affected by developments in Afghanistan more than any other nation."   

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