Ex-envoy: Taliban using water, border closure as pressure lever on Iran

Iran’s ex-ambassador to Afghanistan says the interim Taliban rulers are using shared water resources as well as the closure of Dogharoun border with Iran as lever against Tehran, calling for vigilance in the face of risks of fresh clashes with the Afghan side.

Abolfazl Zohrehvand, in an interview with Entekhab news outlet, voiced concerns over the ongoing frictions between Iran and the Taliban, saying there is a risk of a repetition of the clashes that broke out between Iranian border guards and the Taliban.

“The recent conflict with the Taliban — the motives of which are still not fully clear — has sounded the alarm about how to interact with this group,” he said.

“The excessive demands of the Taliban, along with their recent behavior towards water and disruption in the borders, have caused relative tensions, which can have more dangerous dimensions in the future,” the ex-envoy warned.

Zohrevand drew attention to the US’s attempts to provoke tensions in the Taliban’s ties with Iran and Pakistan.

“The Taliban are using their pressure levers, including the Helmand water and the closure of the Dogharoun border. This situation was, of course, predictable, because the Americans have fully invested in creating a crisis in this region,” he added.

He said that the Taliban are posing threats to China and Russia as well, warning, “We are currently at a sensitive juncture of history.”

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