Local officials of Ghazni province said on Sunday that they have seized weapons from Taliban militants in the province which are made in Iran.
Ghazni governor and police chief said, in a clearing operation on the outskirts of Ghazni city, security forces gained access to a Taliban hideout, where they recovered Iran-made weapons.
“Around nine light weapons, which have been recovered by security forces are made in Iran,” Wahidullah Kalimzai, Ghazni governor said.
“The weapons that you saw, which were very new, were in the hands of militants and are made in Iran. The weapons were brought here for the continuation of war,” Ghulam Daud Tarakhil, Ghazni police chief said.
Reacting to the reports over Iranian weaponry in Afghanistan fighting, the Afghanistan Interior Ministry said they have started investigations to find out how Iranian weaponry arrived on Afghanistan battlefields.
“Security departments have started investigations and we do not have the final results yet. As soon as the results are finalized they will be shared with you,” interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said.
“Afghan government is very weak and cannot defend Afghanistan’s sovereignty and independence,” Fazl Ahmad Oria, spokesman for the Grand Coalition of Afghanistan said.
So far, neither Iran nor the Taliban has commented on the issue.
Meanwhile, commander of 203 Tandar Military Corps, in a security meeting, said the Taliban’s big plans for Ghazni and Paktia provinces have failed, and the group in these areas does not have the ability to confront the Afghan security and defense forces.
“All their plans have failed,” General Dadan Lawang, commander of the military corps said.
Meanwhile, Ghulam Sakhi Roghliwanai, police chief of Paktika province said security forces in the province face a lack of weapons and ammunition.
This is not the first time that Afghan security officials claim they have seized Iranian weaponry from the Taliban. Before this, the United States displayed Iranian weapons that, according to them, were recovered from parts of Helmand province and from areas close to Kandahar airfield.
Last month, the United States displayed pieces of, what it said, were Iranian weapons deployed to militants in Afghanistan and Yemen.
Brian Hook, the US Special Representative for Iran, told reporters the Iranian threat is growing and warned of an "accumulating risk of escalation" in the region if the United States fails to act.
"Today we are unveiling Iran's Sayyad-2 C surface-to-air missile which you see behind me. This missile was designed and manufactured in Iran and the writing in Farsi on its side translates as 'the hunter missile'. The conspicuous Farsi markings is Iran's way of saying they don't mind being caught violating UN resolutions," Hook said.
"Fajr rockets have also been added to the display and are located next to the anti-tank guided missiles. These weapons were recovered in Helmand, near Kandahar airfield, by the Afghan National Army from the Taliban. Iran has been providing material support to the Taliban since at least 2007. These same rockets have been used by Hamas in the past," he added.