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Cablegate: Prt/Herat: Iran Invites Provincial Council To

VZCZCXRO7092
PP RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHIK RUEHKUK RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #5880 3510840
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 170840Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4939
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3423
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS KABUL 005880

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA, SCA/FO, SCA/A, S/CR, S/CT, SCA/PAB, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE
NSC FOR AHARRIMAN
OSD FOR KIMMITT
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-76, AND POLAD
RELEASABLE TO NATO/ISAF/AUS/NZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR AF IR
SUBJECT: PRT/HERAT: IRAN INVITES PROVINCIAL COUNCIL TO
MASHAD

1. (U) Members of the Herat Provincial Council participated
in an Iranian version of the USG's International Visitor (IV)
program when they were invited by the Iranian Government to
Mashad, the nearest major Iranian city to Afghanistan.
Officially, they were invited by the Islamic Council of the
city and were shown economic sites in Mashad. They returned
last week, after having learned more about Mashad,s
municipality and projects under the city's control. Several
noteworthy agreements were concluded, such as the Iranian
commitment to construct a Technical and Vocational Institute
in Herat for local high school graduates. The Iranian
government will provide lab equipment in seven departments at
the university, including food-quality testing, saffron
research, and plant research. Herat University will receive
five exchange professors from Mashad University for master's
degree programs. Mashad University will also provide several
scholarship opportunities for Afghan students for one to two
years.

2. (U) There will be a follow-up visit shortly by another
delegation from Mashad to further explore avenues of
collaboration, and representatives of Mashad university, as
well as vocational and technical institutes, will come to
Herat. In addition, the Iranians have pledged additional
assistance for the Herat university library and have already
donated substantially, including hundreds of high-quality
English-language textbooks.

3. (U) Comment: The official visits by delegations from
Herat and Mashad and the promises of support are not unusual.
Throughout history, these two cities have enjoyed close
relations. Their proximity makes such exchanges relatively
economical and easy to arrange. Large numbers of Afghans
have settled in the Mashad area, including the families of
prominent Herati residents. Family visits, as well as travel
by Afghans seeking work or to purchase goods in this part of
Iran are routine.
NEUMANN

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