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Afghan official affirms their dedication to respecting Iran’s water rights

AT

Kabul: The political deputy of the Afghanistan’s foreign minister said that currently, there has been enough water to meet the needs of Afghan citizens, not an amount that would be diverted towards Iran.

He also stated that it is clear that the ratio of drought to rainfall is higher, and most of the time, there is no rain or snow. Even if there is water, it is not enough to be diverted to Iran, and this amount is not enough to address Afghanistan’s own problems.

The Taliban official emphasized that in case of an increase in water from the Helmand River and the resolution of challenges faced by Afghan citizens in this regard, they will ensure Iran’s water rights.

In response to criticisms by some Iranian officials about water shares, he said that the caretaker government of Afghanistan never wants to jeopardize its relations with Iran due to water.

“Sometimes they have harsh words, but we do not respond to these harsh statements. We only say that when there is additional water, we will give our Iranian brothers their water rights,” he added.

These statements from the Taliban official come as previously Hassan Kazemi Qomi, the special representative of the president for Afghanistan affairs, expressed hope in an interview with ISNA that in the current water year, we will see water entering the country from Helmand.

He also continued by saying that Taliban officials have stated from the beginning that they are committed to the 1351 treaty. Last year, due to negligence, a significant portion of floods inundated an area related to the Kamal Khan Dam. According to experts, Kamal Khan Dam is a diversion dam with limited capacity, constructed in a way that most of the water it receives is floodwater and it does not have the necessary capacity for this volume of floods and is released towards the salty region. Additionally, the dam’s outlet gates are positioned at a higher elevation facing land.

He also averred that it was agreed at the Helmand River Water Commissioner meeting that Iranian technical authorities would verify these issues, and we expressed readiness to assist in any necessary improvements.

Based on the 1973 treaty, Afghanistan is legally obligated to allocate 820 million cubic meters of water from the Helmand River to Iran.

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