Taliban is committed to Iran’s Helmand River water rights, Muttaqi says

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban’s foreign minister, has stated that the Taliban recognises and is committed to Iran’s water rights to the Helmand River.

Muttaqi made the remarks in Islamabad while answering a question posed by Iran’s state media agency IRNA.

“We hope to see more rainfall this year, and this blessing will lead to a surge in water reserves, enough to meet the needs of both Iran and Afghanistan,” Muttaqi told IRNA.

The release of water from the Helmand River into Iran has been a key topic of discussion between the Taliban and Iran since last year.

In January, the Taliban authorities opened the gates of the Kamal Khan Dam on the Helmand River in Nimroz province, allowing the release of its water to reach Iran’s southeast region of Sistan and Balochistan. Iran promptly welcomed the move.

The Helmand River constitutes more than 40 percent of Afghanistan’s surface water and has been a deep-seated water dispute between Afghanistan and Iran for decades. In 1973, both countries signed an accord that would allow the flow of water into Iran at twenty-two cubic meters per second. However, this accord was later disputed by both sides.