Iranian media reports say Iran and Taliban forces yesterday clashed in border area.  Taliban forces reportedly opened fire on Iranian farmers thinking they violated the border, leading Iranian soldiers to intervene.

The semi-official Iranian news agency Tasnim says clashes erupted between Iranian soldiers and Taliban forces near the Afghanistan-Iran border, but appear to have led to no casualties and was later described as a “misunderstanding.”  Tasnim confirmed the battle in the village of Shaghalak in Hirmand county.

Tasnim says there are walled areas on Iranian soil near the border with Afghanistan in order to combat smuggling.

Some Iranian farmers reportedly passed the walls but were still inside Iran’s border when Taliban forces opened fire, thinking its side had been violated, the report said.

"The clashes ended and Iran is discussing the dispute over the border with the Taliban," Tasnim said, adding that reports over the capture of an Iranian border camp by the Taliban were false.  It, however, said “some of the published footage was for the early moments of fighting, and border forces now have complete control over the country’s borders.”

Al-Jazeera reports that later on Wednesday, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement a “misunderstanding between border residents” had caused the fighting, without naming the Taliban.

According to Al-Jazeera, Mohammad Marashi, security deputy for Sistan and Baluchestan’s governor, told Iranian state television the clashes were not serious, incurred no harm on personnel or property, and had ended.  He reportedly named Taliban forces as the instigators. 

Iran has not officially recognized the Taliban since the group quickly took control of neighboring Afghanistan following the withdrawal of United States forces in August.

Iranian officials have repeatedly said the recognition would hinge on the formation of an “inclusive” government in Afghanistan, but have called on the US to lift its sanctions on the Taliban to quell humanitarian concerns.