Friday, September 22, 2023

Iran studying ‘non-diplomatic’ ways to restore right to water share from Helmand: Lawmaker

An Iranian lawmaker says Iran is studying “non-diplomatic” ways to restore its right to water shares from the Helmand River, which the Taliban government in Afghanistan is currently not allowing to be fulfilled.

Fada-Hossein Maaleki, who represents Zahedan in the Iranian Parliament, said a committee of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) was studying ways other than diplomacy to establish Iran’s right to water shares from Helmand.

Maaleki who sits on the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said among the options being studied were closing the Taliban’s embassy or reducing political, trade, and economic relations through Chabahar City in Sistan and Baluchestan Province. Maaleki made the remarks in an interview with Asr-e Iran news outlet that was published on Sunday.

The Taliban have been refusing to allow Iran’s share of water from Helmand to stream into the country. That has caused a drought in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan, which has in turn become a national debate in the country.

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

Earlier this year, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi “warned” the Taliban to open the gates into Iran.

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