The smooth blacktop roads and 24-hour electricity of Herat set this Afghan commercial capital apart as a model of stability in a country still struggling to get on its feet. Much of the wealth in this western city, with its tree-lined streets and handsome shops, is credited to the largesse of Iran. The Shiite republic, one of Afghanistan’s greatest trading partners, has a visible hand here, building roads and schools, and keeping shops afloat with electricity and goods. What’s more, these projects represent only a fraction of the $204 million Iran has spent in aid, ranking it among the top donors to post-conflict Afghanistan. Full Story
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