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Revolutionary Guard: Mullah Mansour Met with Iranian Officials 2 Months Before his Death | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man reads a newspaper containing news about Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour at a stall in Peshawar, Pakistan, May 23, 2016. Reuters

London-A website linked to the Revolutionary Guard has admitted that Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour had conducted negotiations during the two months of his stay in Iran despite the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s denial of reports that he was in the country before his murder in Pakistan.

On May 23, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hussein Jaber Ansari rejected claims that Mansour had entered Iran.

Two weeks later, Jahan News website revealed that Mansour was in Iran one week before his death and he stayed for two months there to conduct several meetings.

The website described the negotiations between Mullah Mansour and Iranian officials as fruitful. Yet it didn’t reveal details or mention the persons whom he met with.

The report said that combating drugs was also discussed in the meetings.

Jahan News is known for its close relations with Revolutionary Guard Intelligence.

The website also accused Pakistani Intelligence, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of tipping the United States on Mullah Mansour’s location.

The website described Mullah as an independent person, with no relations to Pakistan yet denied any ties between his death and Iran.

The website added that Mullah Mansour had not allowed for negotiations to take place between the Taliban and the U.S. or its NATO allies in Afghanistan.

According to Jahan, the Taliban chief agreed to stop ISIS’s expansion on Afghanistan’s northern border and the frontier with Tajikistan.

Reports said Mansour had entered the Iranian border in late March and returned to Pakistan on May 21 coming from Iran. He was carrying the passport of “Wali Mohammed” who was targeted by a drone.

In his article in Foreign Policy Magazine, Michael Kugelman wondered what Mullah Mansour was doing in Iran. He explained it is clearer now that there are ties between him and Iran.

He reported that drones took off from Afghanistan and followed Mullah Mansour while on his way back from Iran and while crossing the border to Balochistan province in Pakistan.

Kugelman wondered why Mullah Mansour would leave his safe haven in Balochistan and head to Iran with everyone knowing that Tehran is no friend of Taliban.

Kugelman added that Iran played a key role in the Bonn conference in 2001 to form a government after the Taliban gave maps that reveal the locations of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.