Report: US Turned to Iran for Help in Afghanistan

Iranian police officers touch the flag-draped coffins of Iranian soldiers who were killed during 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Struggling to jump start Afghanistan’s fledgling economy, the United States reportedly turned to an unlikely country for help.

Even with strict sanctions on American companies doing business in Iran, the Pentagon established a special task force to seek out business relations with Afghanistan’s western neighbor, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The task force received special permission from the United States government to ask Iran to help establish Afghanistan’s first pharmaceutical company and in developing four mines, the journal reported.

Although talks ultimately failed, the olive branch to Iran shows the desperation of the American military to establish some sort of economy in Afghanistan having lost billions of dollars in 13 years of war there.

Even as the U.S. seemingly tries to garner a relationship with Iran, the country still strongly opposes Washington.

Tuesday marked the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Teheran. Thousands of Iranians took to the streets to chant “Down with America.”

Many in the crowd chanted "Death to Israel" and "Death to Britain," neither of which has an embassy here. Several protesters burned the American, Israeli and the British flag.

Over the weekend Iranian officials blasted the U.S. as well.

The United States remains “the great Satan” and Iran’s “number one enemy,” Iranian military and defense officials said in statements that also called for “the prosecution, trial, and punishment of the White House,” The Washington Free Beacon reported.

The inflammatory comments, released over the weekend by Iran’s Defense Ministry and the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), come as nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran reach a critical juncture.

“The U.S. is still the great Satan and the number one enemy of the (Islamic) revolution and the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation,” the IRGC said in an organizational statement released Saturday to Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency, which has close ties to the group.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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