Due to proximity and historical ties, no other country is as well placed as Iran to play a dominant role in Afghan society, as Middle East Institute senior fellow Alex Vatanka shows in his new paper, Iran’s Bottom Line in Afghanistan.

However, Tehran is focused on short-term tactical gains at the expense of a sustainable, holistic strategy, reflected in its use of Shia Afghans as a proxy elsewhere in the region, and it is generating concern in Kabul about rising sectarian tensions in Afghanistan.