Afghanistan’s interim Defense Ministry reported that an Iranian military delegation, led by Bahram Hosseini Motlaq, the head of the Planning and Operations Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Iran, held talks with Haji Mali Khan Seddiq, the deputy chief of staff of Taliban’s army, and his companions in Kabul, Iran Front Page reported.
According to the report, during the talks, the Afghan side said it has sought “good relations with Iran and been committed to neighborly cooperation in different areas”.
The Iranian delegation, in turn, stressed Iran’s determination to forge good ties with Afghanistan.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed border issues and stressed enhancing joint cooperation and resolving problems through dialogue and relevant authorities, the statement added.
Tehran and Kabul have been locked in a row over the latter’s refusal to allow Iran access to its share of water from the Helmand River in violation of a 1973 treaty.
As per the provisions of the treaty, Afghanistan is bound to release 820 million cubic meters of water from the river annually, but Iranian authorities have repeatedly said that Kabul has been withholding its share.
Afghanistan has also built dams on the Hirmand, which have constricted the water flow into Iran.
By grossly violating the accord in letter and spirit, the ruling Taliban government has endangered the lives of many Iranians who rely on the Hamoun wetlands for drinking water, agriculture, and fishing.
Earlier this week, Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi delivered a stern warning to Afghanistan against withholding Iran’s water rights, cautioning the Taliban that they will be responsible for the repercussions of their refusal.
Hirmand is the longest watercourse in Afghanistan. It rises in the Hindu Kush Mountains, west of Kabul, and flows in an arc southwest until it empties out into the Hamoun wetlands, located in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province.