Photo: IRNA News Agency

Taliban and Iran border clashes: “Calm has returned” Iran says

Alireza Marhamati, deputy governor of the Sistan-Balochistan province in southeastern Iran, said on Saturday night that the situation between Iran and Afghanistan is under control and that calm has returned following earlier border clashes.

“Iran and Afghan officials have held negotiations on the causes of the border clashes and the situation is under control after forces were deployed at the Iran and Afghanistan border,” Marhamati was quoted as saying in Iran’s state news agency, IRNA.

“Calm has returned to the border area between the two countries and both sides have agreed to continue talks.”

This comes following the skirmishes on Saturday when two Iranian border guards and one Taliban fighter were killed and several others injured after a shootout near the southwestern Nimruz border post, amid escalating tensions over water rights.

Most recently, Qaseem Rezaei, Iran’s deputy police chief, said, “Authorities in Afghanistan have “committed mistakes multiple times,”

“I want to tell our neighboring country [Afghanistan] that our border is the border of friendship and we won’t allow such tragic incidents to happen in the future.”

Both sides had accused each other of starting the border clashes.

Abdul Nafi Takor, the spokesperson of the Taliban’s Ministry of Interior, accused Iran of shooting first and said that one of their fighters was killed in the firefight. He also confirmed that the situation is under control now.

Qassem Rezaei, in the same fashion, said earlier that Taliban forces had started firing at an Iranian checkpoint at around 10 am local time on Saturday.

Iran has accused Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers of violating a 1973 treaty by restricting the flow of water from the Helmand River to Iran’s parched eastern regions, an accusation denied by the Taliban.