x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Karzai says his office gets cash from Iran

Afghan president Hamid Karzai says that once or twice a year Iran gives his office $700,000 to $975,000 for official presidential expenses.

KABUL // Afghan president Hamid Karzai says that once or twice a year Iran gives his office $700,000 to $975,000 for official presidential expenses. He says the US has known about the Iranian assistance for years and that Washington also gives the palace "bags of money."

Mr Karzai's comments today come in response to The New York Times report a day earlier that Iran was giving cash to the Afghan president's chief of staff, Umar Daudzai, to buy his loyalty and promote Iranian interests in Afghanistan.

The newspaper quoted unnamed sources saying the money had been used to pay Afghan lawmakers, tribal elders - even Taliban commanders.

Mr Karzai says several nations give his office money because it lacks revenue.