The British Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that rockets intercepted on February 5 in southern Afghanistan were Iranian weapons en route to the Taliban. NATO forces intercepted a three-truck convoy carrying 50 rockets capable of being fired up to 13 miles away from a target. The uncovered rockets also have an 80 foot explosion, a figure double that of what had previously been provided to the Taliban from Iran. The rockets were to be used for the Taliban’s spring campaign.
“This is completely unacceptable,” British foreign secretary, William Hague, said. “It is not the behavior of a responsible neighbor. It is at odds with Iran’s claim to the international community and to its own people that it supports stability and security in Afghanistan.”
Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, six world powers – the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China – urged Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In a joint statement one day after IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said the agency “received some information raising further concerns” about possible military dimensions to Tehran’s atomic activities, the six powers clarified that they remained ready to talk with Iran to find a diplomatic solution to the nuclear problem. “The door remains open,” the statement said.
Perhaps it’s time the world powers, or at least the U.S. and her closest allies, close that door. Senior NATO commanders have repeatedly warned that Iran is supplying the Afghan insurgency with weapons, money, and training, and Iran continues down its defiant path of nuclear armament, even with the latest sanctions in place. An open diplomatic door to the U.S. and other world leaders should be saved as a reward for well-behaved countries, of which Iran is not.