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Cablegate: Dai Kundi Governor Concerned About Iranian Influence

VZCZCXRO6745
OO RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHIK RUEHKUK RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #2910 2460550
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 030550Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9951
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//JF/UNMA//
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS KABUL 002910

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR, EUR/RPM
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-82, AND POLAD

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AF
SUBJECT: DAI KUNDI GOVERNOR CONCERNED ABOUT IRANIAN INFLUENCE

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In a meeting with Bamyan PRT officer, Dai Kundi
Governor Sultan Ali Oruzgani appealed, on behalf of the people of
Dai Kundi, for the U.S. to place a PRT in his province. Governor
Oruzgani also expressed concern over increasing Iranian religious
influence in mosques in Dai Kundi and throughout Hazarajat. END
SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) On August 14, Bamyan PRT officer had a brief meeting with
Sultan Ali Oruzgani, the governor of Dai Kundi province, at the
governor's office in Nili, the provincial capital. Governor
Oruzgani said the people of Dai Kundi had supported the war against
the Taliban and al Qaeda and support international efforts to limit
poppy cultivation. He emphasized that the people of Dai Kundi would
very much like to see a PRT established in the province and
specified that it should be a U.S.-led PRT.

3. (SBU) Governor Oruzgani then brought up his concern about Iranian
influence among Hazara in Afghanistan. He said Iran has
historically exercised a lot of influence in Hazarajat, and that
many mullahs and clergy in the region were trained in Iran. He said
many Hazara clergy are trained in Qum, return to Afghanistan for a
time, then go back to Qum for further training. Oruzgani said
Iranian-trained mullahs and clergy preach sermons against the Afghan
government and the international presence in Afghanistan, and are
also trying to influence what is taught in public schools.

4. (SBU) Oruzgani said he did not have information about any Iranian
efforts to send weapons to Dai Kundi, but commented that the DIAG
process in Dai Kundi has not worked. Most people who had weapons
during the Taliban days, he claimed, have retained them. The
governor repeated his appeal for an American-led PRT, and said that
if such a PRT was established it would serve to counter the Iranian
influence in Dai Kundi.

5. (SBU) Governor Oruzgani indicated that the security situation in
the southern district of Kijran, which in the past served as a
Taliban staging area, has improved. (Note: A neighboring district,
Ghizab, which was part of Dai Kundi province, has been transferred
to Uruzgan; Ghizab is considered to be under Taliban control. End
note.) Oruzgani noted that just before he became governor, the
Taliban had killed the district chief of police in Kijran and
effectively taken control of the district. Oruzgani said that after
becoming governor he took a series of actions in Kijran including
making two visits there, assigning a new district governor and
district chief of police, and appointing a district council and
religious council. As a result, he asserted, Kijran is now back in
the control of the province and central government. He pointed out
that Kijran is situated in an unstable neighborhood; it is located
in the middle of three other districts (in Uruzgan, Ghor, and
Helmand) where the central government does not exercise authority.
We are still concerned about Kijran, he commented, but it is under
our control.

6. (SBU) Comment: Governor Oruzgani's comments about Iranian
influence in Hazarajat are similar to comments recently made to PRT
officer by contacts in Bamyan, including the deputy governor and a
Provincial Council member. These officials said that while they
have no knowledge of Iran sending weapons to individuals or groups
in Dai Kundi or Bamyan, they are concerned about anti-government
preaching by mullahs and clergy trained in Iran. This concern is
not universal: the chairman of the Provincial Council, who was
previously the chief mullah in Bamyan province, recently told PRT
officer that while Iran used to provide funding for madrassas and
mosques in Bamyan, it does not presently provide such funding. The
Hazara are Shia, and have traditionally had close religious and
cultural ties to Iran. End comment.

DELL

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