Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Official: Taliban withhold Iran’s water share

Iran and representatives of the Taliban administration in Afghanistan have failed to reach an agreement on the two countries’ share of water from the Hirmand River, an Iranian official says.

Ali Salajegheh, the head of Iran’s Department of Environment said a meeting between officials with Iran’s Ministry of Energy and their Afghan counterparts hit snag after disagreements over each side’s share.

Iran has been trying to persuade the Taliban officials to open the gates of Kamal Khan Dam in the Hirmand River, known as the Helmand River in Afghanistan, and release the flow of water to drought-hit Hamoun Lake in southeast Iran.

Davood Mirshekar, Director General of Environmental Protection Office of Sistan and Baluchistan Province bordering Afghanistan, said, “Unfortunately, the Afghan side has bypassed Iran and has diverted the Kamal Khan Dam in the Hirmand River directly to Godzareh basin without considering the environmental issues and the share of water.”

Hamoun is the largest freshwater lake in Iran, directly linked the biodiversity in Sistan and Baluchestan and the people’s livelihood in the province.

Constructing of dams over the Hirmand River has heavily restricted the flow of water to the Islamic Republic.

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