Russian security chief to visit Iran on September 26

TASS – Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev will visit Iran on September 26, where he will discuss the situation in Afghanistan with colleagues from other countries, the Russian Security Council press service reported.

“Multilateral consultations between the Security Councils on the Afghan issue will be held in Tehran on September 26,” the report says. “Russia will be represented by Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev at the meeting.”

The Russian Security Council secretary repeatedly noted the growing threat that Afghanistan poses both to Russia and other countries, including Moscow’s allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). There are 15,000-20,000 militants staying in northern Afghanistan, he reported.

“The activity of terror organizations has galvanized in direct proximity to the border of the CSTO member states. The total number of militants in northern Afghanistan is about 15,000 to 20,000, including in the provinces located along the border with Tajikistan – up to 7,000,” Patrushev said at the meeting of the CSTO Secretaries of Security Councils, that was held in Astana in May.

The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating as a result of the galvanization of the emissaries of the Islamic State terror organization and the Taliban movement (both outlawed in Russia), as well as other terror organizations, he said. “The risks of the penetration of terror organizations from Afghanistan to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are growing. There is possibility of the infiltration of groups of militants, deliveries of arms and the galvanization of the recruitment of young people in extremist groups,” Patrushev added.

In light of this, Russia supports the gradual implementation of cooperation in the CSTO to counter terrorism, which is an absolute priority amid the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the Security Council secretary concluded.