Sacks of Cash

Tehran’s influence buyers are on a shopping spree in Kabul. The New York Times only scratched the surface in last week’s report that Iranian officials have delivered bags of cash worth millions of dollars to President Hamid Karzai’s chief of staff, Umar Daudzai. Karzai confirmed that story but dismissed concerns about corruption, saying the money was spent on “various expenses and helping people.” But NEWSWEEK has learned that the practice goes far beyond Karzai’s office. In fact, Iranians almost routinely give cash to Afghan officials, parliamentarians, politicians, and religious leaders to promote Tehran’s agenda.


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