The Corner

How Does Iran Influence Ordinary Afghans?

An important new study by my AEI colleagues Ahmad Majidyar and Ali Alfoneh gives part of the answer: the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee.

As an aside, back in 1985, when I was a wee seventh-grader, I watched Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase in Spies Like Us and decided that I, too, would one day follow the road to Dushanbe. In 1997, I had the opportunity to intern at the U.S. embassy in Tajikistan, which was then housed in a hotel. Across the street, with a direct line of sight into the entrance/exit of the hotel, opened a branch of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee. It did not take long after that for a security threat to force the evacuation of non-essential personnel (although, fortunately, the intern got to stay). The fact of the matter is, where the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee goes, trouble follows.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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