Saturday, March 2, 2024

MP: Iran’s SE province to face problems if water doesn’t reach there in 3 months

An Iranian lawmaker and ex-envoy to Afghanistan says the southeastern border province of Sistan and Baluchestan will face numerous problems if the water shortages, caused by the Taliban’s blocking of Helmand River’s inflow, drag on for three more months.

Fada-Hossein Maleki, who sits on the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, told Entekhab news outlet that the interim Taliban rulers do not seem to be willing to honor their obligations under a 1973 treaty to allow Iran access to its share of water from Helmand River.

“Afghan authorities claim that there is no water in the Hirmand River, while satellite images show that there is water at the Kajaki Dam,” he said.

“The government, especially the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has examined the situation in the Sistan and Baluchestan region, and if water does not reach this region in three months, many problems will arise.”

Under the 1973 treaty, Afghanistan is bound to release 820 million cubic meters of water from the river annually, but Iranian authorities have repeatedly said that Kabul has been withholding the Iranian water share.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has recently warned the Taliban against the repercussions of refusing to allow Iran access to its water share.

In a statement last week, Iranian Foreign Ministry warned that Tehran will not hesitate to use pressure to make the Taliban respect the water rights of Iran.

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