Thursday, February 22, 2024

Interior Minister: Iran seriously pursuing Hirmand water rights

Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi says the country is seriously pursuing to get its water rights from Hirmand River, the Iranian part of which has been almost dry after Afghanistan built a dam on the river.

Vahidi, who is visiting the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan and Balouchestan, where Hirmand flows, said Afghanistan and the Taliban have failed to fulfill their commitments on Iran’s water rights from the river.

“The issue of Hirmand’s water is in fact in the hand of foreign side and talks have been held in this regard at different levels and the obligations of the country [Afghanistan] on water rights have been reminded to them, and the issue is being pursued. At some point, they made promises, but they were not fulfilled,” he said.

Vahidi added that Iran is using “a strong diplomacy” to get its water rights from Afghanistan.

The minister will also pay a visit to the Hirmand basin and the international Hamoun Pond, which gets its water from the river during his two-day visit to the province of Sistan and Balouchestan.

The issue of Iran’s water rights from Hirmand goes back to more than half a century ago, and was outlined in a 1972 agreement between Iran and Afghanistan.

Based on the agreement, Iran’s water rights amount to 820 million cubic meters a year, equal to 26 cubic meters of water every moment.

Days ago, the Taliban said they have released Hirmand’s toward Iran, but no water from the river entered Iranian territory and Iran’s Hamoun Pond.

Taliban now say they remain committed to the 1972 agreement. They say the water did not reach Iran due to “technical problems”.

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