Taliban hits back at Iran: Don’t politicise the water issue

The Taliban Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, has responded to Iran’s recent persistent demands over its Helmand River water rights by saying that the country must adjust its demands in accordance with the 1973 treaty.

Speaking at an event marking the seventh anniversary of the death the group’s former leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, Muttaqi said that the Taliban is committed to the treaty.

“I call on Iranian officials to adjust their demands in accordance with the 1973 treaty and refrain from judgments and rhetorics outside the treaty,” Muttaqi said. Iran “should not politicise” water, he added.

In recent weeks, Iran has accused the Taliban of not letting water reach the country’s Sistan and Baluchistan province. President Ebrahim Raisi has warned that the group will face “serious consequences” if it doesn’t deliver.

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, a deputy and the Taliban’s Foreign Ministry, in an interview with Afghanistan International said that Iran had received more than its share of water from the Helmand River.

Stanikzai blamed drought as the main reason for enough water not reaching Iran.