Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Ex-Iranian diplomat: No diplomatic way out of water standoff with Taliban

A former Iranian diplomat believes that the Taliban administration in Afghanistan will not back down in a dispute over Iran’s water share from the Helmand river with negotiations, suggesting that the Islamic Republic has to consider non-diplomatic ways.

Mohsen Roohi Sefat, a formet Iranian diplomat in Afghanistan, told Khabar Online that Iran should have preserved its bargaining chips to restore its rights in talks with the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

He undermined Iran’s strategy to deal with the longstanding rift diplomatically, saying “We have no option. No one makes a deal with a government that is in need. No one bargains with a government that admits it is incompetent.”

The Taliban have been refusing to allow Iran’s share of water from Helmand to stream into Iran and have caused a drought in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan.

Iranian officials have stressed that Afghanistan’s Taliban government must adhere to the terms of the internationally-binding 1973 Helmand river water treaty and supply Iran with its share of water from the river.

Iran’s Space Agency said recently that images obtained from Iranian satellites show that the Afghan government is preventing water from reaching the Iranian side of the border by building numerous dams and diverting the flow of the water.

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