Iran pursuing its Hirmand water rights through dynamic diplomacy: MP

By Sadeq Dehqan
Staff writer
An Iranian lawmaker emphasized that his country is pursuing its water rights from the Hirmand River through dynamic diplomacy.
In an interview with Iran Daily, Mohammad Saleh Jokar pointed out that Iran will stand up for its rights, clarifying that dynamic diplomacy is not just political dialogue, but various ways to achieve Iran’s rights.
Iran and Afghanistan have been locked in a long-running dispute over their shared water resources. At the heart of the dispute is the Hirmand River (known as Helmand in Afghanistan), which flows 1,126 kilometers south before flowing into the Hamoun wetlands, in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan.
The head of the Council and Internal Affairs Committee of Parliament said that respecting water rights at the international level is completely clear, and the protocol related to this issue is fully respected among countries and can be followed in terms of international law.
Iran’s water rights from the river are determined under the agreements made between the two states. Under the agreements, a certain amount of water is allocated to Iran for use in Iran’s southeastern province, Jokar said, adding that it is not permissible to obstruct the flow of the river.

The issue of Afghanistan’s lack of adherence to the 1973 water-sharing treaty and denying Iran its water rights under the pact has come back to center stage in recent months.
In 1973, the two sides agreed on a 26-cubic meter per second water flow into Iran.
Iran should receive an annual share of 820 million cubic meters from Hirmand River under the accord, which Afghanistan has grossly violated in letter and spirit, endangering the lives of many Iranians who rely on the Hamoun wetlands for drinking water, agriculture, and fishing.
Afghanistan has also built dams on Hirmand, which have constricted the flow of water into Iran.
At the same time, the river is an international, or cross-border, waterway in that the two neighbors are legally obliged to share the water of the river.
Referring to Iran’s warnings over securing its water rights by Afghanistan, the Iranian parliamentarian said that the Taliban authorities should pay attention to Iran’s vital demands.
He said that in line with its legal demand, the Islamic Republic is also pursuing the issue through international assemblies and institutions.



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