Photo: IRNA

Iranian lawmaker calls for closure of Taliban embassy to secure water rights from Helmand river

Iranian lawmaker Feda-Hossein Maleki has recently proposed to close the Taliban’s embassy in Tehran and reduce Iran’s political and commercial ties with the group in order to secure the country’s water rights from the Helmand River.

According to Iran’s ASR News Agency, Maleki expressed his disappointment with the lack of action following Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s warning to the Taliban. He emphasized the need to put pressure on the Taliban and mentioned that Iran has various tools to do so.

He argued that Iran should not be overly accommodating to the Taliban’s demands, as the group’s requests have been met repeatedly by Iran, which according to him has caused concern among the Persian-speaking and Pashto-speaking communities in Afghanistan.

According to the news agency, Maleki accused the US and the UK of trying to create tensions between his country and the Taliban. He also pointed out that internal disputes within the Taliban are contributing to the complexity of the situation.

Iran and Afghanistan have long disputed over Iran’s water rights from the Helmand River. In a 1973 treaty, Afghanistan committed to providing Iran with 22 cubic meters of water per second.

In recent months, Iran has complained that the Taliban has not upheld its obligations under the Helmand Treaty. Iran claims to be receiving less than 4% of its entitled water rights from the river.