Soviet division reported on Afghan-Iranian border
Kabul, Afghanistan — A Soviet division, comprising at least 10,000 troops, has taken up position along Afghanistan's border with Iran, United Press International reported Monday. Western diplomatic sources were quoted as saying the 66th Motorized Rifle Division, one of an estimated seven Soviet divisions that include about 85 ,000 troops in Afghanistan, had taken the position within the past "couple of days."
A military analyst said the troops were not fulfilling any defensive purpose, because there was no military threat posed from Iran. He discounted the possibility that a Soviet division would have taken up the positions merely to block lines of supply to guerrillas fighting in western Iran.
Asked whether he believed the division was poised for possible offensive action against Iran, he said, "That is my conclusion."
He said it would take an armored Soviet column "about three hours" to race from the border to Iran's oil fields on the Gulf if Moscow gave the go- ahead.