Friday, June 21, 2024

Interior minister says situation at Iran-Afghanistan border normal after Taliban attack

Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Monday that the country's border areas with Afghanistan is tranquil following the recent skirmishes between Iranian border guards and Taliban forces.

Vahidi’s remarks came two days after two Iranian border guards were killed as heavily-armed Taliban forces opened fire at a border post in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province in violation of international law.

He said that tensions have eased on the eastern border with Afghanistan and that the area is now secure after a deadly unprovoked attack by Taliban forces.

“We do not have any problem at the moment. The border point is in peace and open to traffic,” he stated, adding, “There was a shooting by Afghan border guards, and naturally, we delivered a due response.”

The interior minister also noted that the brief clashes ended and negotiations were held with the Taliban in this regard.

During a visit to Sistan and Baluchestan on Sunday, Commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Force Brigadier General Kioumars Heidari warned that the Islamic Republic will change its approach if Afghanistan fails to respect international regulations and the principles of good neighborliness.

He further said that the border areas with Afghanistan are under complete control of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces.

In August 2021, the Taliban managed to seize power after making sweeping advances across Afghanistan in the midst of a messy withdrawal of US-led foreign forces as well as the rapid collapse of the country’s security forces.

Iran says it does not recognize the ruling administration in Kabul, underlining the need for the formation of an inclusive Afghan government.

Recently, a long-lasting water dispute has resurfaced between Iran and Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s non-compliance with the 1973 water-sharing treaty and denying Iran its water rights under the pact have heightened tensions between Tehran and Kabul.

Over the past few weeks, high-ranking Iranian officials have urged the de-facto Taliban government in Kabul to adopt an effective measure to address the long-lasting issue by providing Iran its due share of water from the Helmand River Basin.

Water scarcity is taking a heavy toll on Iran’s southwestern Sistan region by harming its agriculture and water bodies.

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