“The competent authorities of the Islamic republic deny that this person on this date crossed Iran’s border and into Pakistan.”

–Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari, 23rd May, 2016.

Mullah Manour’s death has raised a host of questions, not least of which was weather the dead person is actually Mullah Mansour. Iran claims that Mullah Mansour was never in Iran – contradicting the Pakistani version. Is this fact or fiction.

In international diplomatic flashpoints as this there is always room for artifice, and a motive for face-saving, which means all claims must be taken with a pinch of salt. That said, according to senior investigation officials, the fake travel documents carried by Mullah Mansour – under the name of Muhammad Wali - bore valid visas for Dubai and Iran with multiple visits to both. Records show he had returned to Taftan from Iran on May 21 and was killed the same day at around 3pm by the US drone in the Kochki area of Nushki district – on the Iran-Quetta highway. The same confirmation comes from US sources; that a car was bombed en route to Quetta from Iran. While the mystery over the identity of the dead continued, Iran’s claims could be entertained – but with the confirmation coming from the Taliban itself, the doubts on the official version are all but gone.