This is according to Iran’s foe, Saudi Arabia, which has transferred an intelligence report to the U.S. on the matter, a Saudi official with knowledge of the dossier told WND.
The official said that during their meeting last weekend, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani discussed with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani the sale of discounted oil to Afghanistan after the international sanctions are removed.
The Saudi official said Iran is seeking to entice the Afghan government into closer ties in a bid to distance Afghanistan from its strategic alliance with the Saudi kingdom.
Indeed, after last weekend’s meeting in Tehran between Ghani and Rouhani, the two announced at a press conference the signing of security and trade agreements.
The meeting was also attended by Afghanistan’s foreign minister and minister for oil and mines.
Last Sunday, Afghanistan and Iran announced plans for intelligence sharing, enhanced security cooperation and possible joint military operations to combat threats from the ISIS jihadist group.
The Iran-Afghan meeting came after ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad that killed 33 people and wounded more than 125.
From Tehran, Ghani told reporters ISIS presented “a serious danger and different form of terrorism.”
“People die daily, we face barbarism,” he said at a joint press conference with Rouhani, who nodded visible in agreement.
“And without greater cooperation a macabre phenomenon such as Daesh cannot be contained,” Ghani said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
According to the Saudi official speaking to WND, the Iranian leader utilized the potential sale of discounted oil after sanctions relief as a way to persuade Afghanistan toward closer relations with Tehran.
The issue of sanctions relief has been a sticking point in the U.S-led Western talks to secure a final nuclear deal with Iran.
Earlier this week, the U.S. and international delegations met in Vienna, where Iran reportedly made it clear once again it wants full sanctions relief to take effect as soon as a final deal is signed.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi, reiterated Iran’s position: “All the economic sanctions should be lifted on the day that the deal is implemented,” according to a report from Iranian news agency Tasnim.
The Obama administration has said publicly it wants to phase out sanctions relief over an extended period of time and to have the relief dependent on United Nations verification that Tehran is sticking to its side of the bargain.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported the White House had indicated Iran could get $30 billion to $50 billion in sanctions relief as soon as a deal is signed. According to the report, congressional officials were briefed by the administration on the alleged signing bonus.
Responding to the report, State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf stated simply, “There is no change in our position … regarding phased sanctions relief as part of a comprehensive deal.
“They will only receive sanctions relief after (Iran verifiably) completes all of its nuclear related steps,” she added.
Last week, Vice President Joe Biden said Iran would not see sanctions relief immediately.
“If at the front end they expect there to be total sanction relief or significant sanction relief, there will be no deal,” Biden stated. “This will be, ‘You have to earn it.’”