An aerial view of Hirmand River, known as Helmand in Afghanistan

Tensions Rise As Iran Accuses Taliban Of Hoarding Water Share

Monday, 03/04/2024

The recent rise in the Hirmand river has sparked renewed tensions as Iran accuses the Taliban of withholding its agreed water allocations.

In spite of both rainfall and flooding, Isa Bozorgzadeh, spokesperson for the Water Industry, told state-owned ILNA on Monday, "The water inflow from Afghanistan to Iran is zero."

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the Taliban's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, claimed Afghan citizens' needs come before international allocations. "Currently, there is only enough water to meet the needs of the Afghan citizens, and it is not sufficient to be released towards Iran."

The river, known as Helmand in Afghanistan, holds significant importance as a primary source for agricultural irrigation and potable water supply.

The statements come as, according to the representative of Sistan and Baluchestan, Afghan authorities divert the water of the Helmand River inside their country through canal construction and dams, preventing it from entering Iran.

The issue of Iran's water share from the Helmand has intensified with the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In the past two years, Iranian authorities have claimed that the Taliban has agreed to allocate 820 million cubic meters of Iran's water share from the Helmand annually, but neither the Taliban has confirmed such an agreement nor has any water been released towards Iran.

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