Thursday, May 30, 2024

Iran says will use pressure against Taliban over Helmand if necessary

Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian says Iran will use “pressure as a tool,” if necessary, to make the interim Taliban rulers in Afghanistan to allow the Islamic Republic access to its share of water from the Helmand River.

Amirabdollahian made the comments during a visit on Thursday to Iran’s southeastern border province of Sistan and Baluchestan, where he is scheduled to follow up on the case of Iran’s water rights, which have long been at the center of a dispute with Afghanistan.

He said based on the 1973 treaty between Iran and Afghanistan, the people of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan have “a natural right” to benefit from the water that flows into the country from Afghanistan, and that Tehran would “pursue this with seriousness.”

“If necessary, pressure tools will be used against that part of Afghanistan’s ruling body that refuses to go along with the granting of water rights to Iran,” he added.

Taliban officials recently claimed that due to low water levels, even if they opened the dam, nothing would reach Iran.

Referring to the claim, Amirabdollahian said Iran will not buy mere political comments, calling for the formation of an expert team to look into the claim.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Space Agency said satellite images showed that the Afghan government prevented water from reaching the Iranian side of the border in some places by creating numerous dams and diverting the flow of water.

The agency said it was ready to submit the images, captured by the Iranian-made Khayyam satellite, to the Foreign Ministry.

Earlier in the day, President Ebrahim Raisi, on a visit to Sistan and Baluchestan, warned the Taliban to stop blocking the access of Iranians to their water share.

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