Monday, August 15, 2022

Iran FM warns Taliban against negligence over Helmand water share

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has warned If the issue of Iran’s share of Helmand River’s water is not resolved swiftly and seriously, it will negatively impact other areas of cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan.

Amirabdollahian held a phone conversation with caretaker of Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, following President Ebrahim Raisi’s order for pursuit of the country’s rights to the share of water from the Helmand River.

Amirabdollahian pointed to the recent downpours, which made the river flow again, expressing hope for the removal of the artificial obstacles blocking the flow of water into the Islamic Republic of Iran’s borders as part of its rights to the water.

“Providing Iran with its water share is an important index for assessing the caretaker Afghan government’s adherence to its international commitments to Iran,” the foreign minister said.

Amirabdollahian referred to the serious demands of the people and lawmakers of Sistan and Baluchestan Province for the Foreign Ministry to follow up on the issue.

“If the issue of Iran’s share of Helmand River’s water is not resolve swiftly and seriously, it will negatively impact other areas of cooperation between the two countries,” the foreign minister said.

He said a high-ranking delegation from Iran’s Ministry of Energy would soon travel to Afghanistan to assess the situation, work to remove the existing obstacles, and hold consultations with Afghan officials over the country’s water share.

Elsewhere in his comments, Amirabdollahian highlighted the eagerness of the businesspeople active in Iran’s private sectors for participation in Afghanistan’s economy.
“Iran backs the presence of its private sector in Afghanistan and, at the same time, expects Afghan officials to, in turn, support Iranian businesspeople in Afghanistan, given the significance of the private sector’s role in Afghanistan’s economy,” he said.

For his part, Muttaqi said ties between the two countries are brotherly and serve the Afghan nation.

He welcomed the upcoming visit of the Iranian Energy Ministry’s delegation to Afghanistan and said, “We are committed to Iran’s water rights. Whenever there is water, we will make it flow toward Iran.”

In response, the Iranian Foreign Minister said, “Through the formation of a technical team and a joint operation, we can direct the river back to its original bank so that a waste of the water will not harm the people living on both sides of the border.”

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