Iranian Border Forces and the Taliban Clash Once Again

Since the Taliban’s armed takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, tensions between the neighbouring nations escalated. With an ongoing border dispute and claims of mistreatment of Afghan immigrants deported by Tehran. Heavy fighting between Taliban militants and Iranian border guards was reported in the Hirmand area of Sistan-Baluchestan province on Sunday, 31 July, by Iranian and Afghan media.

According to footage of the clashes that circulated on social media, Iranian and Taliban border forces exchanged artillery and heavy weapon fire along a border wall close to the Shaghalak region of the Hirmand county in southeast Iran. Additionally, from footage it appears that the Taliban increased their military presence along the border when the Iranian army in Zahedan dispatched its 88th Armored Division to the area where tensions were high.

The clash was confirmed by Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, in a statement following the emergence of the aforementioned footage in the international press and on social media. However, no details regarding the cause of the incident or the number of dead or injured were provided. According to the semi-official Tasnim news agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the conflict began when some Taliban forces attempted to raise a flag over an area on Iranian soil.

According to Nimroz Border Commander Mawlawi Mohammad Ebrahim Hewad, who spoke to TOLO News, the confrontation was sparked by Iranian border forces. He also stated that one Taliban member was killed and another was wounded as a result of the conflict. In response to claims made in the Afghan media, Meysam Barazandeh, the governor of Hirmand District, told the Fars News Agency that although the Taliban retaliated after the Iranian border forces responded as was necessary to their border violation, no lives were lost in the ensuing conflict.

Since the Taliban assumed control of the country’s government, there have occasionally been armed clashes on the borders of Nimroz and Herat between Taliban members and Iranian border guards. The border dispute and the immigrant issues are the main causes of conflicts between the two nations. Because of this, despite the Taliban administration in Afghanistan and Iran agreeing to hold talks to resolve the tension on their shared borders, this conflict and others like it render the parties’ diplomatic efforts ineffectual.