TEHERAN — Iran acknowledged Tuesday that it has been sending funds to neighboring Afghanistan for years, saying the money was intended to aid reconstruction of the embattled country.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Monday that he receives millions of dollars in cash from Iran, adding that Washington gives him "bags of money" too because his office lacks funds. US officials said the money flowing from Teheran was further proof that Iran is playing a double game in Afghanistan — wooing the government while helping Taliban insurgents who are fighting US and NATO forces.
"Iran has provided the country with plenty of help," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in his weekly news briefing in Teheran. "Iran has helped construction of Afghanistan and the preparation of its economic infrastructure and it will pursue it in the future, too."
Mehmanparast said Iran's help began years ago. He said peace and stability in Afghanistan is important for Iran.