Iranian Envoy Hopes Helmand River Water Will Reach Iran by September

Wednesday, 02/28/2024

Hassan Kazemi Qomi, Iran's special representative for Afghanistan, said that after negotiations between Iranian authorities and the Taliban, he hopes that Helmand River water will enter Iran by late September.

Qomi told ISNA news agency that Helmand’s water rights is "the right" of the people of Iran. He stated that his country is seriously pursuing the issue.

He added that the commissioners of Iran and the Taliban have held their 27th meeting in Zabul regarding the water rights. However, the anticipated outcome expected by the Ministry of Energy of Iran did not materialise. Nonetheless, he emphasised that these meetings are necessary for the implementation of the Afghan-Iranian Helmand River Water Treaty of 1973.

Recently, Iranian media reported that the Helmand River water commission meeting concluded without yielding results. During this meeting, Iranian representatives emphasised on addressing technical problems and removing obstacles, including the structures built by Afghanistan on the way of this river.

After this meeting, the Iranian media wrote that the "Taliban again insulted Iran about Helmand's water right".

In response to Iran's repeated requests, Taliban officials stated that the drought and insufficient water in the Helmand River were the reasons for the diminished flow to Iran.

However, Iran's special representative countered, stating that the 1973 treaty does not explicitly specify that the water in the Kajaki Dam must be allocated to Iran's rights. Moreover, the treaty does not address the scenario where Iran's entitlements should be contingent on rainfall.

Qomi mentioned that Iranian experts visited the measuring station in Afghanistan a few months ago to assess the water volume and determined that it was not significant. However, he emphasised on the need for Iranian specialists to revisit Afghanistan now that winter is over for another round of water measurements.

He stated that the Taliban, fortunately, is not strict regarding the measurement of water by Iranian experts.

The Iranian envoy also underscored the importance of security control along the border with Afghanistan in his conversation with ISNA.

Regarding Iran's border blockade plan, he clarified that this initiative is "not merely for preventing the entry of illegal immigrants and combating human and drug trafficking”. Rather, "we are facing various terrorist elements at the border, supported by major powers that today utilise both soft and hard power simultaneously to strike against us”.

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