Karzai says his office gets cash from Iran, US
KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Monday that once or twice a year Iran gives his office $700,000 to $975,000 for official presidential expenses - and that Washington also provides "bags of money" because his office lacks funds.
Karzai's comments come a day after The New York Times reported that Iran was giving bags of cash to the Afghan president's chief of staff, Umar Daudzai, to buy his loyalty and promote Iranian interests in Afghanistan.
The Times quoted unnamed sources as saying that the cash amounted to a slush fund that Karzai and Daudzai had used to pay Afghan lawmakers, tribal elders - and even Taliban commanders - to secure their loyalty.
Karzai told reporters Monday that he had instructed Daudzai, a former Afghan ambassador to Iran, to accept the money from Tehran. "It is official and by my order," Karzai said.
He said several nations have given money to his office - the first being the United Arab Emirates, which provided $1.5 million nine years ago when Afghanistan's interim government was formed.
"That was a big help and we submitted all the money to the central bank and we were paying for the daily expenses of the government," Karzai said. "After that, a number of other countries helped us in the same way..."http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_afghan_iran