Sunnis and Shi’ites hate each other, but not as much as they hate the Infidel. Hence Iran’s support for the Taliban, as well as Hamas and Islamic Jihad: Sunnis who are waging jihad against Infidels are allies of Iran, as far as the mullahs are concerned. Such support also strengthens Iran’s ongoing maneuvering to be the leader of the Islamic world.
“Death of Mullah Mansoor highlights Taliban’s links with Iran,” by Jon Boone and Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian, May 23, 2016:
The killing of the Taliban chief on the main highway leading from the Iranian border shines new light on the movement’s complicated relationship with Tehran.
Although it is Pakistan that has traditionally been condemned for secretly supporting Afghan insurgents, analysts say Iran also provides weapons, cash and sanctuary to the Taliban. Despite the deep ideological antipathy between a hardline Sunni group and cleric-run Shia state the two sides have proved themselves quite willing to cooperate where necessary against mutual enemies and in the pursuit of shared interests.
Mullah Mansoor first entered Iran almost two months ago, according to immigration stamps in a Pakistani passport found in a bag near the wreckage of the taxi he was travelling in when he was killed by a US drone strike.
The passport, in the name of Wali Muhammad, also showed he had only just returned to Pakistan from the border crossing of Taftan, some 280 miles (450km) away from the site where he was killed, an area called Ahmed Wal, where he had stopped for lunch.
On Monday, the Iranian foreign ministry denied that “such a person had entered Pakistan from the Iranian border”.
“Iran welcomes any efforts made in bringing stability and peace to Afghanistan,” said spokesman Hossein Jaberi-Ansari.
It is not known where Mansoor went inside Iran, whether his trip was secretly facilitated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard or whether he stayed among the large populations of Afghans living in eastern Iran, especially in the cities of Mashhad and Zahedan.
The Taliban also have ties to Sunni extremist groups operating in the Iranian province of Sistan and Balochistan.
A Pakistani official from Dalbandin, a district bordering Iran, said he did not think Iran would back foreign insurgents with links to such groups.
“All Afghan militants hold Pakistani nationality, it is not written on their forehead whether he is a militant or not,” said the official, who did not wish to be identified.
Nonetheless police and intelligence officials in western Afghanistan often complain the local insurgency is being managed and supplied with weapons and training from Iran….