Iranian lawmaker urges response to Taliban over water share

An Iranian lawmaker has advocated for decisive action against the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan in light of their inability to secure Iran’s allotted water portion from the Helmand River based on the 1973 treaty.

Fadahossein Maleki, the representative for Zahedan in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, an area adjacent to Afghanistan, has cautioned that Iran should contemplate implementing retaliatory measures.

Maleki emphasized that this call for retaliation should not be misconstrued as a call for warfare against the Taliban. He indicated that Tehran should thoroughly reevaluate its relationship with the group.

“We have an array of proportional responses to address the Taliban’s behavior. Iran extends water and electricity to our neighboring provinces in Afghanistan,” said the Iranian legislator.

Maleki continued by asserting that Iran finds itself compelled to enact specific measures in response to the Taliban’s actions.

The Taliban’s refusal to permit Iran’s water share from the Helmand River has resulted in a severe drought within Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan Province. This region, in a parched and arid zone, experiences minimal precipitation compared to other areas in the country.

The remarks come as a delegation from Iran’s parliament is in Kabul and has held meetings with Taliban officials. Iran’s embassy in Kabul in a social media post on Monday said that the delegation stressed on strengthening relations between Iran and Taliban in a meeting with Taliban’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.