Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Taliban say committed to Iran’s share of Helmand water

A Taliban official says the acting Afghan government remains fully committed to providing Iran with access to its share of water from the Helmand River under a 1973 treaty signed between the two neighbors.

In’amullah Habibi Samangani said on Friday that the Taliban government stood ready to address Iran’s concerns over its water rights through dialog.

The Taliban official said Afghanistan was suffering from water shortages caused by drought and the condition might have affected Iran’s share of water from Helmand, something that he described as “a negotiable issue.”

Under the 1973 treaty, Iran is entitled to over 800 million cubic meters per year of water from Helmad, which flows some 1,150 kilometers before reaching the Sistan wetlands in southwestern Afghanistan and eastern Iran.

Tehran is unhappy with Kabul’s failure to release enough water from a controversial dam over the Helmand River to comply with terms of the treaty.

Iran argues that the Kamal Khan Dam, opened in March 2020, would significantly decrease the flow of the Helmand River.

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