The top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan says Iran's cash payments to the Afghan government are "disingenuous," when it is also funding the Taliban. U.S. General David Petraeus told VOA's Persian News Network Friday that Iran's activities are conflicting, providing funding to the Afghan government, while on the other hand undermining that government by assisting those creating the country's security problems. General Petraeus said Iran has always had a conflicted approach to Afghanistan. He compared the situation to Iran's efforts in Iraq, which he described as "lethal and destructive." On Tuesday, Iran confirmed that it has sent money to the Afghan government for years, saying the funds are intended to aid Afghanistan's reconstruction. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Monday that his office received "bags of money" from Iran, which he described as no different from money received from other countries like the United States. General Petraeus said President Karzai was "forthright" in his statement about the money from Iran, and he described it as a very small amount compared to what the U.S. and other countries provide.
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