U.S. Building Army Base Near Iranian Border

December 4, 2004

U.S. military forces in Afghanistan are building a large military base near the country’s western border with Iran.

Local Afghan officials told reporters on December 1 that U.S. forces have been sketching and surveying the land for two months for a large airbase in the desert area of Holang, in the Ghorian district of Herat province.

Some reporters commented that the development could be linked to rising tensions between the United States and Iran, but the US military and the Afghan government say the base is being built for the Afghan National Army.

The U.S. command headquarters in Kabul confirmed that it is building the base. Officials admitted that the "U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team" in Herat is constructing the base but denied that it is in response to heightened tensions with Iran.

An official of the U.S.-backed Afghan government, General Nader Azemi, stated "Creation of a base in a place completely dominating Iranian airspace could provoke an argument from Iran."