The Graveyard Next Door: The Iranian Invasion of Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by TheReal54, May 7, 2018.

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  1. Threadmarks: Prologue

    TheReal54 Wicca Phase Task Force

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    The Graveyard Next Door: The Iranian Invasion of Afghanistan

    Prologue

    [​IMG]

    Flag of the United Islamic Front, known in the west as the Northern Alliance

    The year 1998 was almost half over, and the decades of turmoil that plagued Afghanistan raged on. Of course, the players had changed since the first signs of destabilization appeared in the 1970's. From the south and west, the Islamist and fiercely Pashtun nationalist Taliban, under the rule and guidance of Mullah Mohammed Omar, raged throughout the country. In the northern, primarily Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara regions, the United Islamic Front held strong and steadfast, led by the equally charismatic Ahmad Shah Massoud.

    However, as the weeks passed by, the Taliban slowly but steadily absorbed more and more Afghan cities, spreading their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam and heavy handed style of rule across the countryside. One heavily contested city, a site of bloodshed since the summer before, was the city of Mazar-e Sharif. A highly populous and strategically important location, the Taliban would fight tooth and nail to break the city. On August 8th, 1998, they would succeed.

    Enraged at the longstanding resistance of the city and suspicious of the large population of Hazara, a predominately twelver Shiite ethnic group suspected of having ties to Iran, the Taliban would slaughter their way through the barely defended city, taking few prisoners and firing on everything that crossed their path. Of course, this war path would lead the Taliban and their allied militias to the Iranian consulate.

    The Iranian consulate had botched their attempts at evacuation, a mistake that would prove fatal. Staffed now with 12 embassy members and a team of journalists, they had no choice but to wait and pray. What would occur that day would be fiercely disputed between the Taliban and the Iranian government, both providing their own description of the events that transpired:

    • The Iranian Description: A combined squad of Taliban and Pakistani Siaph-e-Shahaba entered the consulate at around 1:00 AFT. Much like the massacre of the Hazara on the streets, the 12 diplomats and 3 journalists were shot on sight, with the consulate then ransacked and lit ablaze. There were no survivors.

    • The Taliban Description: Members of the Siaph-e-Shahaba militia entered on their own accord the Iranian consulate. Disobeying orders from the Taliban to merely capture the building, the militia shot and killed the diplomats and journalists out of their own accord, before shortly after ransacking and setting fire to the consulate
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    Aftermath of the attack on the Iranian consulate
    While news of the consulates capture was swift, and in many ways, expected, the fate of the diplomats and the journalists would not be known until almost three weeks later. The Iranians, already enraged and demanding to know the status of their citizens, would move from anger to outright furor at the news of their untimely demise. Furthermore, news of the outright massacre of hundreds of Shia Hazara and Uzbeks would follow suit, leading to a mass amount of protests and public outcry from an outraged Iranian populace. The Taliban's murderous transgressions were further met with vengeful, vehement rhetoric from both political officials and the Revolutionary Guard, ranging from demands for reparations to the threat of war. These were met with public reactions ranging from indifference to mild statements of admission from the Taliban leadership, claiming that the diplomats were killed unintentionally and that the action was neither an act of hostility nor a declaration of war towards Iran.

    However, Taliban actions spoke far louder than words, repeating the same massacre of Hazara in Bamiyan. Adding to this the report (though often false) of raids over the Iranian border, and tensions were set to become white hot. By November of 1998, nearly 90,000 troops were stationed along the Afghan border, and rhetoric was only becoming more venomous. Fearing a bloody conflict, the UN agreed to mediate talks between Iran and the Taliban. Would it be enough?


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    So this timeline is going to be half focused on the war itself and half focused on Afghan political and economic developments in the aftermath. That said, the next immediate chapter will focus on/be from the point of view of the Iranian government and military. I always wanted to do a TL on this specific POD since I joined the board. Constructive criticism is always welcome
     
    rfmcdonald, Karelian, KACKO and 21 others like this.
  2. La Rouge Beret Well-Known Member

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    Good to see that someone has finally started a TL based on this POD.

    Watching with interest.
     
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  3. Timmy811 Member

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    Interesting. Iran can put way more troops into the country than the US or USSR were ever willing to do. Should more than make the technological difference.
     
  4. PMN1 Member

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    IIRC, there was one a few years ago but it petered out.
     
  5. FieldMarshal Smash the Bolshevik Banned

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    There have been a couple TLs that use it as a background event.

    Anyway, good start.
     
  6. Cregan Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting POD. This could mean the effective partition of Afghanistan into an Iranian (NA) sphere and a Pakistani (Taliban) sphere by the end.
     
  7. kernals12 Proudly on the Autism Spectrum

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    2 (related) questions
    Who do the Americans side with?
    Does 9/11 still happen?
     
  8. Ak-84 Banned

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    Before or after Pakistan enters the war.
    OTL they told Iran in no uncertain terms that a direct attack on Afghanistan would mean war. And they had tested nuclear device that May (although they had been a nuclear power a decade and a half by then). Pakistan also told Iran that they would subject Iranian infrastructure to air and missile attack if war came.
    Which is why Iran backed down in OTL. Pakistan surely can't be that engrossed in that Autumns cricket series to ignore all this.
     
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  9. historybuff Well-Known Member

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    You have my attention. Was it that bad OTL with Iran and the Talibon?
     
  10. Knightmare Well-Known Member

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    That assumes they want to save the Taliban from themselves.
     
  11. Ak-84 Banned

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    They like Iranians (or any other country) influence in Afghanistan even less.
    Pakistan's policy has always consistently been that it would oppose outside powers dominating in Afghanistan and oppose a strong unified Afghan Government. To achieve that, its faced down super powers.

    Why would it back down against Iran?
     
  12. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    May they gut each other.
     
    kernals12 and Cregan like this.
  13. FieldMarshal Smash the Bolshevik Banned

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    Pretty much.
     
  14. Baron Steakpuncher Probably stupid

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    Shia dominated Afghanistan? You have my attention....
     
  15. kernals12 Proudly on the Autism Spectrum

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    I hope the Iranians take out Bin Laden and that the war becomes long and unpopular enough for the Iranian people to revolt.
     
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  16. TheReal54 Wicca Phase Task Force

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    As more and more news of Al Qaeda involvement in Afghanistan comes out, the US will end up reluctantly and very.....very minimally siding with Iran

    Not specifically, however terror attacks in the west will play a big role in this timeline later on.

    Don't worry, they wont, just not as far as all out total war, mostly for problems of the Taliban's doing. It will get pretty messy however.

    Anyways, the next chapter will be coming up soon. It will mostly detail the build up to conflict from the Iranian side.
     
  17. FieldMarshal Smash the Bolshevik Banned

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    WTC '93 and the 1998 embassy bombings have already put al-Qaeda firmly in US crosshairs by the outbreak of the Iran-Afghan War ITTL (the latter actually occurring only a day before the attack on the Iranian consulate).

    Besides, he did say that terrorist attacks in the west would play a "major role." Perhaps the US is initially neutral with a very slightly pro-Taliban bent, but al-Qaeda goes and screws themselves and their backers over by launching a major attack on the US (maybe a successful Millennium plot, maybe an alternate 9/11 on a different day/with different targets) leading the US to start slightly leaning to Iran instead.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
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  18. Minuteman Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the terrorists go into Sudan.
     
  19. Minuteman Well-Known Member

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    Apr 9, 2018
    Someone made a TL with this subject a year ago and someone made a lot of very interesting points criticizing that TL:

    Posted this here because this might be of use to the author.
     
  20. dzaroh2 wew lad

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    Apr 24, 2016
    Do you have a link by any chance
     
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