The Afghan-Iranian conflict weakens Russia
The Afghan-Iranian conflict weakens Russia, as the contradictions between the Iranian mullahs and the Taliban government are systematic and will regularly escalate. The ruling political regimes in Tehran and Kabul are much further apart than their geographical distance suggests. The Taliban are predominantly Sunni, while modern Iran is the centre of global Shiism. The Iranian authorities, as a result, still do not recognize the temporary government of Afghanistan formed by Taliban and continually insist on integrating Shiite groups from the country into it. Moreover, in the tradition of the Islamic Republic, Afghan culture and statehood are perceived as a "younger brother," a former fragment of the Persian Empire. That is why, neither during Hamid Karzai's government nor under current conditions, the issue of freshwater distribution from the Helmand River has not been finally resolved. The Iranians appeal to the violation of the 1973 treaty, while the Afghans build additional dams, change the river's course, and have already charged Tehran an unpaid amount for all previous years – 75 billion dollars. The Kremlin is watching with alarm the military confrontation at the border between the two countries, understanding its vulnerability in the Middle East under current circumstances. Formally, the Russians managed to get closer to Iran and Afghanistan geopolitically, and both regimes are called allies in Moscow. However, in practice, Iranian Shiites see Russians as a threat to the revival of their "imperial project." At the same time, Afghan Sunnis perceive the Kremlin's power as a continuation of the Soviet "shuravi" and have unresolved issues from the time of the Soviet-Afghan war. Footage from the conflict zone between Iranian and Afghan border guards in Nimroz province shows the active use of American weapons and military equipment left behind by the Afghans. This, in turn, means the readiness of the Taliban army for effective armed raids on neighbouring territories, including Russian territory. The consequences of the Afghan-Iranian conflict may lead to the reduction in arms supplies from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Russia and the need to increase its military presence on the borders with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Moscow will get its negative consequences faster due to sharper disagreements between the two Islamic states. The presence of a large number of poorly controlled groups within Afghanistan only accelerates the likelihood of border clashes along the entire perimeter of the country. It is obvious that for Putin's regime today, any instability on the eastern borders would mean a sharp decline in military capabilities on the western borders and an impending collapse of the authoritarian power in Russia.