December 8, 2022

Persian News

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Tehran asks Taliban to remove hurdles to Iran’s water rights

TEHRAN- The Taliban government in Afghanistan has been urged by Iran’s foreign minister to eliminate the artificial hurdles so that the Islamic Republic’s water rights from the Helmand River are realized.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian made the comments during a phone conversation on Thursday with Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting Afghan foreign minister.

According to the Iranian official, a high-ranking delegation from Iran’s Ministry of Energy will visit Afghanistan to work on removing any remaining barriers that prevent Iran from drawing water directly from the Helmand River.

Afghanistan and Iran have been involved in a prolonged dispute for many years over water sharing. In a 1973 agreement on water sharing, the two parties agreed that Afghanistan would provide Iran with an average of 820 million cubic meters of water annually.

The Islamic Republic has chastised Afghanistan for breaking the deal on several occasions.

The development of many hydroelectric projects on the river, most notably the Kamal Khan dam in Nimrouz province and the Kajaki dam located 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Kandahar province, has exacerbated the situation.

On Wednesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi urged serious action on Iran’s water rights from Helmand.

Raisi gave the go-ahead for the issue to be addressed by the nation’s foreign and energy ministries, stating that “a popular government would, under no pretexts, back down from pursuing the nation’s rights.”

Amir Abdollahian said that Kabul’s decision to permit Tehran to use its water right would serve as an essential indicator of the Afghan government’s adherence to its commitments under international law toward the Islamic Republic.

He cited Sistan and Baluchestan in southeast Iran as being dependent on Helmand’s water, warning that if the problem was not expeditiously and seriously rectified, it might harm other areas of cooperation between the two nations.

For his part, the Afghan official characterized the relationships as brotherly and intended to aid the Afghan country.

He said that Afghanistan is committed to letting Iran use its water rights, offering to set up a collaborative technical and operational team that might change the water’s course to flow back towards Iranian territory.


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