Taliban recognizes Iran’s water rights from Hirmand River: Muttaqi

Taliban’s acting foreign minister said that the Taliban recognizes Iran’s water rights from the Hirmand River, known as Helmand River in Afghanistan, saying that Afghanistan has never sought to create problems for its neighbor in this field.
Amir Khan Muttaqi made the remarks on the sidelines of a conference on Afghanistan, which was held in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, on Monday, according to IRNA.  
He hoped for more rain in the coming months, which would help both countries increase their water reserves and resolve their water shortages.
Muttaqi underlined that Afghanistan is determined to develop relations with Iran, especially in the fields of trade and economy.
The two countries signed a water-sharing accord on the Hirmand River in 1973, under which Afghanistan pledged to deliver an average of 820 million cubic meters of water per annum to Iran. Iran has repeatedly criticized Afghanistan for failing to honor the agreement in letter and spirit.
Hirmand River originates in the Hindu Kush Mountains near Kabul and flows 700 miles (1,126 kilometers) south before flowing into Hamoun wetlands, located in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province.
Iran has repeatedly asked Afghanistan to commit to the water treaty. Tehran also insists that the Taliban-led government in Kabul needs to do more to implement the terms of the agreement.  
Since taking control of Kabul in August, 2021, the Taliban government has vowed to implement the terms of the agreement and reverse a trend set by a previous administration, which had failed to commit to the treaty.
However, Taliban ministers have blamed drought and technical issues for low supply of water from Afghanistan to Iran in the past months. What has made the dispute bitter is the construction of many hydroelectric projects on the river, most importantly the Kamal Khan Dam in Nimrouz Province, and the Kajaki Dam 100 miles (160km) northwest of Kandahar Province.


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