Iran and Afghanistan share a 582-mile (936-km) border along a plain in western Afghanistan.
Iran participated in the formation of the post-Taliban government in the Bonn Conference in December 2001 and contributed to reconstruction efforts, with the aim of establishing friendly ties with Kabul.
invasion of Afghanistan ushered in a fresh chapter in relations between Iran and Afghanistan.
The Baluch are another ethnic group that lives in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
The Baluch constitute two percent of the Iranian population or roughly 1.3 million people.
During the anti-Soviet resistance year, while the US, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan tended to back mainly Sunni-fundamentalist Pashtun mujahideen groups, like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e Islami, Iran generally supported Persian-speaking or Shia groups, mainly among the Hazara.
These mujahideen received funding, training, supplies, weapons, and sanctuary in Iran.But when a US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to overthrow the Taliban, Iran was not disappointed.Iran played a key role in Afghanistan’s state-formation and reconstruction process in the immediate aftermath of the Taliban’s ouster.In 1988, Iran strengthened and united several of these Hazara factions into the Hezb-e Wahdat-e Islami or Islamic Unity Party, and Tehran continued to support the organization during the Afghan civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.Wary of a Sunni-fundamentalist Pashtun state on its eastern border, Iran viewed the rise of the Taliban in 1994 and their seizure of Kabul in 1996 as a serious security, ideological, and economic threat.Although Afghanistan is predominately Sunni Muslim (80 percent, roughly 27 million people), it does have a sizeable Shia minority, which accounts for nineteen percent of the population or roughly 6.2 million people.