Tuesday, February 10, 2009

US may enlist Iran against Afghan drug trade

MUNICH: Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s points-man on Afghanistan and Pakistan, is expected to engage Iran as part of the effort to combat Afghanistan’s growing drug trade, officials said. Tehran has been among the largest suppliers of financial and economic aid to Kabul since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001. The US officials said they believed Iran might be willing to work with the US to strengthen the Karzai government. Holbrooke is expected to seek Iran’s support for a renewed international effort to combat Afghanistan’s growing drug trade. Iran has one of the highest opium-addiction rates in the world and Iranian authorities have long called for the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan to take stronger measures to combat the drug’s production and trafficking there. A spokeswoman for Holbrooke said the envoy would not comment on his plans until he returned from his visit to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. daily times monitor

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