Afghan Biographies

Mashad Shoora

Name Mashad Shoora
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade Background
History and Biodata


Iran now operates at least four Taliban training camps, according to Afghan officials and Dr. Abdullah, the Taliban commander. They are in the Iranian cities of Tehran, Mashhad and Zahedan and in the province of Kerman.

Iran formalized its alliance with the Taliban by allowing the group to open an office in Mashhad, maintaining a presence there since at least the beginning of 2014, a foreign official said. The office has gained so much clout that some foreign officials are now referring to it as the “Mashhad Shura,” a term used to describe the Taliban’s leadership councils.(20161013)

The unpredictability of a Trump White House is pushing Tehran to adapt a more conciliatory approach toward the Taliban. When then-Taliban chief Mullah Mansour was killed in a U.S. drone strike, he was travelling from the southern town of Mashad, Iran to Quetta, Pakistan. The relationship has earned the Taliban’s office in Iran the “Mashad Shura” moniker. However, such ties have largely been ignored due to Tehran’s focus on monetary funding to the group and not so much hosting a physical leadership presence within its boundaries.

Iran has now upped the stakes in its relationship with the Taliban. Tehran used to hide visits by the insurgent group but now Iran has openly invited Taliban leaders to an Islamic conference, describing them as “moderate.”

Russia, on the other hand, is back to Cold War shenanigans, only the role has been reversed. Americans are now in Afghanistan and Moscow wants to play the role of the liberator from foreign occupation — even though on paper and in media the Russians approve of NATO and Resolute Support carrying out operations in Afghanistan. The Kremlin smells an opportunity to bleed Washington in Afghanistan, the same way Washington split open the Soviet Union about three decades ago.(20161224)

Now, the Taliban has a political office in Iran which is unofficially called ‘Mashad Shura’ which was the town then Taliban leader Mullah Mansour was driving back from into Pakistan when he was killed in the drone strike. Tehran used to hide visits by Taliban leaders but now openly invites them to conferences. Support for the Taliban is a geo-strategic hedging strategy that the Iranians and the Russians have adopted to ensure that they have some Afghan faction obliged to their interests. Traditional alliances and long-standing rivalries amongst all the actors in what has become the new ’Great Game’ in Afghanistan have now become jumbled up which only weakens the central government in Kabul.(20170512)

Last Modified 2017-05-12
Established 2017-05-12