Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Taliban given 1-month ultimatum to allow Iran access to Helmand water share

The Iranian president’s special envoy for Afghanistan says the interim Taliban rulers have one month to provide Iran access to its share of water from the Helmand River, and that they will be responsible for the consequences if they fail to do so.

In an interview with the state TV, Hassan Kazemi Qomi referred to the Taliban’s claim of water shortages, saying if there is water on the Afghan side, contrary to the claim, and they refuse to meet Iran’s water right, they “have to be accountable.”

The water issue concerns the Iranian nation’s fundamental rights and the government will thus take befitting action, he said.

“The Taliban officials know that if they seek a stable and strong government in this country that includes all the people’s representatives, and if they want this country to move toward rebuilding, stability, independence, territorial integrity and prosperity, they must have constructive interaction with their neighbors. And they understand this,” Kazemi Qomi added.

Tehran and Kabul have been locked in a war of words in recent days over the Taliban’s violations of the 1973 treaty on shared water resources.

As per the provisions of the 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 its share.

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

Meanwhile, in a statement on Friday, 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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