Iran reduces electricity supply to Herat province amid border tensions

Local officials in western Herat province have said that neighboring Iran has considerably reduced its electricity supply to the industrial Herat city since Monday amid escalating border tensions.

“Iran has declined its electricity supply to the city citing extreme heat and lack of electric energy.” Ismail Mashwani, Taliban’s electricity department official in Herat, said Tuesday.

While the crippling power shortage will likely adversely affect hospitals, businesses, and homes in the city, it is unclear how long would this disruption last.

Herat heavily relies on Iranian electric power imports.

Iran currently supplies Herat with 30 to 35 megawatts of electricity, which delivers 70 percent of the electricity power to the city, Mashwani added.

Iran’s cut of electricity supply comes amid soaring border clashes over Helmand River’s water rights between Iran and Afghanistan which erupted on Saturday at the Nimruz border.

Following the border outbreak, many in Iran had asked the government to put political and economic pressure on the Taliban authorities to meet commitments of the bilateral water treaty signed in 1973.