Thursday, June 20, 2024

Iran seeks to visit Hirmand dam over Afghan water share dispute

Iran demands to inspect the reservoir of a dam on the Hirmand river in neighboring Afghanistan that has caused a standoff with the Taliban administration over Iran’s share of water from the river.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Tuesday a committee has been formed to facilitate an Iranian delegation’s visit to the dam to verify the claims by Afghan officials that he river suffers from unprecedentedly low levels of water.

The Taliban have been refusing to allow Iran’s share of water from Hirmand, known as Helmand in Afghanistan, to stream into Iran, blaming drought and technical issues for the low supply of water in the past months.

However, Iran’s Space Agency said images obtained from Iranian satellites show that the Taliban government is preventing water from reaching the Iranian side of the border by building numerous dams and diverting the flow of water.

Vahidi said the situation would cause a drought and social issues in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan which is located in a hot and dry region and receives low rainfall compared to other regions in the country.

Iran stresses that Afghanistan must adhere to the terms of the internationally-binding 1973 Hirmand river water treaty and supply Iran with its share of water from the river.

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