Iranian state newspaper: wrong assessment of the Taliban can no longer be defended

In response to the mounting tensions between Iran and the Taliban regarding the Helmand River water rights, the Iranian newspaper Jomhouri-e Eslami (Islamic Republic), in its editorial in Persian on Sunday, addresses the shift in perspectives. The publication asserts, “The misconception held by some in Iran, considering the Taliban worthy of whitewashing, can no longer be upheld.”

Casting a critical eye on the Iranian government’s approach toward the Taliban, the editorial advocates for political and economic pressure as the sole means to safeguard Iran’s water rights, stressing that “there should be no doubt that tomorrow is too late for this.”

The editorialist urges that with the issue of Iran’s water rights from the Helmand River now raised to a “high level” of concern, it must take the “right path.”

“Taliban has no intention of giving water rights to Iran, but Iran possesses the leverage necessary to compel compliance from this arbitrary group,” the author added.

The newspaper has proposed a suggestion regarding safeguarding Iran’s water rights, proposing that the country should take action by expelling the Taliban representatives from the Afghanistan embassy in Tehran and reinstating the former Afghanistan government’s diplomats to their positions.

In a bid to secure Iran’s water rights, the newspaper further advocates for a series of actions, including reducing the activity ofthe Iranian embassy in Kabul, halting the daily export of fuel to Afghanistan, expelling Afghanistan’s businessmen from Chabahar port, prohibiting the export of Afghan commercial goods from Chabahar port, and imposing a ban on the export of Iranian and non-Iranian goods from Iranian soil to Afghanistan.

Additionally, the newspaper recommends the implementation of a “strict monitoring program” on the presence of Afghanistan’s immigrants in Iran.

The newspaper suggests systematic “intelligence and security monitoring” concerning Afghan immigrants in Iran, emphasizing the importance of admitting only individuals deemed trustworthy to remain within the country’s borders.

The editorial writes, “While the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran should respect law-abiding Afghan nationals within the country, it must not under any circumstances permit the presence of individuals with dubious intentions or criminal backgrounds, particularly those associated with the Taliban terrorist group, in any region of Iran.”

The editorial writer of the newspaper states, “It is crucial for the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran to recognize that any measures aimed at exerting pressure on the Taliban must not be delayed.” He adds that “There has been enough shortcoming in this field and any additional delay will only exacerbate the existing losses.”

In recent days, tensions between Iran and the Taliban have heightened due to conflicts over both the water rights of the Helmand River and border disputes. Iranian officials maintain that the Taliban have failed to fulfill their obligations concerning water rights as outlined in the 1973 treaty. Conversely, the Taliban says that the severe drought conditions have depleted the Helmand River’s water resources, rendering it impossible for water to reach Iran.