Iran's Mashhad radio, which broadcasts news to Afghanistan, has aired complaints by Afghan imams and officials suggesting that the US presence is responsible for the unstable situation in Afghanistan. The radio has further reinforced this image of the US as a destabilizing force by routinely reporting clashes between US forces and the Afghan population.

In early July, for example, the radio pointed to statements by Afghani intellectuals and officials and to sermons by Afghani imams complaining about the problems caused by the US presence.

On 5 July, it cited the Imam of Faizabad in northeastern Afghanistan as saying that "no foreign forces could act positively in bringing peace and security to Afghanistan, because their presence itself is a cause for tension in the country."

? On the same day, the radio quoted a cleric at the Grand Mosque in Herat as complaining that "the enemies of Islam would not spare any efforts to foment discord among Muslims," and he urged Muslims "to be aware of these plots."

The radio offered comments by other Afghanis attributing the country's instability to the US presence. It cited an intellectual on the 4th as asking the Afghan Government to prevent foreign radio stations from broadcasting in Afghanistan and the editor-in-chief of the Hindokosh News Agency as saying that "alien cultures have influenced my country and upset Afghanistan's national unity."

Mashhad Radio Reports Continued Attacks on US Troops

The radio also portrays US forces as facing constant opposition from local forces.

On 4 July, for example, the radio reported that three US soldiers were injured when "rebels" attacked them in southeastern Afghanistan. It added that of the three soldiers injured, "one of them died of his injuries in a hospital at Bagram Airbase."

Two days earlier, the radio said that clashes between "unidentified armed forces" and US troops "lasted hours." It also claimed that the "Shah-e Kot area in the south of Afghanistan is a hotbed of crises where unidentified armed forces have inflicted the heaviest losses on US troops so far."