But more and more, Afghan insurgents are looking west to Iran as a source of arms. Nobody in the US military or State Department will say much about this, probably because they have enough problems with Iran and don’t want to further rock the boat. This Reuters story quotes top US officials as admitting there is a relationship between Iran and insurgents, but those officials play down the relationship, probably for the reason stated above.

“Certainly, the Iranians have in the past provided some arms to some groups inside Afghanistan,” says a senior advisor to Richard C. Holbrooke, Obama’s Af/Pak special envoy.

Afghans on the other hand, are certain that their neighbor to the west is bent on causing Afghanistan as much trouble as possible.

“Of course Iran is helping the insurgents,” says an Afghan friend who works with the US military near Herat. “They want to kill Americans, just like the Taliban.”