Envoy reiterates Iran’s pursuit of water rights from Afghanistan treaty

Photo: Iran’s state media

Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, on Monday, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to securing its water entitlements from the 1973 treaty with Afghanistan, underscoring the positive impact of an Iranian delegation’s recent visit to Helmand province.

Qomi highlighted the Iranian team’s visit as a “promising signal” for fostering “constructive interactions and nurturing trust” between the neighboring nations.

The Iranian envoy, drawing upon observations made by experts during the expedition, cited measurements taken at the Dehraud water gauge station in Helmand. He noted that the volume of water flowing into Iran during July fell below the anticipated monthly quota established in the bilateral agreement between Iran and Afghanistan.

Emphasizing the need for consistent monthly transmission of hydrometer data and metrics, punctuated by timely station visits, Qomi stated, “Accurate assessment of water scarcity and moisture levels annually will facilitate the precise and equitable allocation of water resources from the Hirmand River, in accordance with section B of article 3 of the treaty.”

Ali Akbar Mehrabian, Iran’s Minister of Energy, communicated the country’s perspective on the matter during an interview with the ISNA news agency on Sunday.

He noted a marked drought situation in Afghanistan, which has somewhat ameliorated following recent rainfall. He affirmed Iran’s commitment to uphold its rights as per the treaty.

The issue of Iran’s water entitlements, as stipulated in the 1973 treaty, has been a contentious matter between Iran and Afghanistan in recent months. Both parties recently reached an agreement to permit an Iranian delegation to assess the situation along the Helmand River in southern Afghanistan.

In response, Abdul Kabir, Deputy Chief Minister of the Taliban, stated on Saturday that the water dispute with Iran had been resolved amicably through mutual understanding. Kabir associated this resolution with the broader success of the Taliban’s global engagement efforts.