KABUL – Iran’s Foreign Ministry has reported a significant development in the long-standing dispute over water rights on the Helmand River. A “preliminary agreement” has been reached with the Taliban, according to Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry. During a press conference on Monday, Kanaani stressed the seriousness of the ongoing discussions and the importance of responsible action from the Taliban moving forward.
The issue of water rights from the Helmand River has been a subject of concern and negotiation between Iran and Afghanistan for decades. The 1973 Afghanistan-Iran Helmand Water Treaty was aimed at regulating water distribution from the river, which is a crucial water source for both countries.
Recent months have seen tensions rise along the shared border due to skirmishes between the Taliban and Iran concerning water rights. These incidents have added complexity to the already sensitive issue, prompting both parties to engage in talks to find a resolution.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry highlighted that the Taliban has formally acknowledged Iran’s claim and recognition of water rights on multiple occasions. Now, Iran expects the Taliban to take practical steps to validate this recognition as a confidence-building measure.
The “preliminary agreement” signifies a positive step forward in addressing the water-related disputes between Iran and the Taliban. While further negotiations will be required to solidify the agreement, this development offers hope for a potential resolution to the longstanding issue of Helmand River water rights.