Photo: Hamshahri Newspaper

Iranian MPs warn the Taliban against using ‘inappropriate rhetoric’ and urges to deliver water rights

The Iranian parliament on Monday added its voice to the chorus of the country’s officials demanding that the Taliban fulfill its obligations on Helmand River water rights.

In a statement, the Iranian parliament said that the Taliban must refrain from “inappropriate rhetoric and let water reach Iran as soon as possible”.

Iran’s water rights over the Helmand River, the Iranian parliament said, is “rooted in Afghanistan and Iran’s history.”

The people of Sistan and Baluchistan province, according to the Iranian parliament, face “humanitarian disaster” if Helmand River water doesn’t arrive within three months.

Iran has in recent months complained that the Taliban is failing to deliver on Afghanistan’s 1973 treaty obligations in delivering Iran’s share of water from the Helmand River.

Last week, the Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, during a visit to Sistan and Baluchistan province, warned the Taliban of serious consequences unless his country received its share of water. The Taliban rejected the warning, stating drought as the reason for lack of water.

Iran has complained of receiving less than four per cent of its water rights from Helmand River.

Adding to pressures on Afghanistan, a campaign in Iran is demanding the Iranian government of suspending visas to Afghan citizens. According to Fars News, the campaigners say “the presence of 6 to 7 million refugees from Afghanistan in Iran have put a heavy burden on the Iranian economy, including jobs and housing”.