Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Ex-envoy to Kabul: Taliban dried up Iran’s Hamoun wetlands by diverting water flow

Iran’s ex-ambassador to Afghanistan says the interim Taliban rulers are behind the drying up of the Hamoun wetlands in eastern Iran by cutting the flow of Hirmand River waters into the Iranian side of the border and diverting the waters through a dam to their opium fields.

In an interview with Entekhab News Outlet, Abolfazl Zohrevand highlighted the long-running dispute between Iran and Afghanistan over the share of water from the Helmand River, and an accord signed between them in 1973, under which Afghanistan would provide Iran with 22 cubic meters per second of water.

He said there is a water control site at the bottom of the Kajaki dam where the water originates, and the water table indicates that Iran should receive 820 million cubic meters of water per year.

“Floods that come towards Iran and the Afghans cannot control are not good for us,” he said, adding that since the disputed Kamal Khan dam was built, Iran’s problems doubled.

The former envoy called on the Iranian Foreign Ministry to diplomatically pursue Iran’s water rights.

The Afghan rulers, he said, use the water as a lever for pressure.

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