Friday, March 1, 2024

Helmand flowing into Iran again as Taliban reopen gates of border dam

Afghanistan has re-opened the gates of a dam near the Iranian border, allowing the Helmand River to flow into Iran, days after a visit to Tehran by a Taliban delegation.

Iran’s Deputy Ambassador to Kabul Hassan Mortazavi said Tuesday the caretaker Taliban officials ordered the re-opening of the gates of the Kamal Khan Dam following consultations between the two sides in Tehran during acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi’s visit.

Talks will continue on ways to resolve the long-running dispute over Iran’s share of water from the Helmand River, he added.

“We hope that the water will reach our country’s border by tomorrow noon,” he said.

Mortazavi criticized the construction of the Kamal Khan Dam by the Western states aimed at fully blocking the flow of water into Iran.

“In the weeks to come, intensive talks will be held with the Kabul government to fully resolve the problems created by the ex-Afghan government for the shared waters on the border,” he said.

Meanwhile, Iran’s special representative to Afghanistan thanked the Taliban for delivering on their promise to free the water.

The Helmand originates near Kabul, flows southwest through desert areas for a total of about 1,100 kilometers before emptying into Lake Hamun on the Iranian border.

Under the 1973 Helmand River Treaty, Afghanistan is committed to sharing the water with Iran and supplying 26 cubic meters of water per second, or 850 million cubic meters per annum.

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