Photo: Fararu

Iran increases pressure on Taliban over water rights, Raisi warns of serious consequences

Iran on Wednesday dramatically increased pressures on the Taliban over the country’s water rights from the Helmand River.

The Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, during a visit in the province of Sistan and Baluchistan, warned the Taliban that must take Iran’s concerns “very seriously”.

“I am issuing a warning to the rulers of Afghanistan, that they should immediately give the water rights of the people of Sistan and Baluchistan,” Raisi said.

“You should take my words very seriously so that you won’t complain later.” Raisi warned the Taliban.

The Iranian President said that the Taliban has claimed that there is not enough water behind the Kajaki Dam to reach Iran, but “they should let our experts inspect the dam to ascertain the claim, otherwise our right should be given.”

Iran Raisi said, he tried through diplomatic means to resolve the issue with the Taliban, but Iran was losing patience he added.

Earlier, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, also warned the Taliban that it should release the Kajaki Dam “before it is late”.

Iran has long complained about not receiving enough water from the Helmand River and has in recent months become more vocal on its demands.

Last week, the Iranian ambassador to Kabul, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, said that his country had received less than four percent of its annual 820 million cubic meters of water from the Helmand River.

Iran’s water rights over the Helmand River have long been a point of dispute between the two countries. In a treaty signed in 1973, Afghanistan committed to the flow of twenty-two cubic meters per second into Iran.