News ID: 2950452 -
Zarif:

Iran-Afghanistan talks focused on Helmand water right

TEHRAN, Oct. 26 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that Iran-Afghanistan talks have always encompassed Helmand water right.

Speaking during an open session in the Parliament on Monday, Dr. Zarif said Iranian Foreign Ministry urges efforts to take into consideration Iran-Afghanistan water disputes over Helmand River, a main issue of contention between the two countries, especially in recent decades.

“The issue has been frequently raised during multiple meetings with Afghanistan’s former and current presidents, Afghan National Security Council Secretary-General and Minister of Foreign Affairs,” Zarif underlined.

The issue of Iran’s water right and the sharing of the Helmand River, Zarif added, is one of the main demands of the Islamic Republic of Iran during talks with Afghanistan.

“The comprehensive agreement inked between Iran and Afghanistan with President Rouhani during presidency of Hamid Karzai includes a main provision dealing with a long-running dispute with Afghanistan over Iran’s water rights," he said.

Zarif urged Afghan government to be committed to its water treaty with Iran, covering the Helmand River since 1973.

“The treaty provisions are being enforced inadequately and inconsistently by Afghan government,” Zarif said, adding that, as a result, disputes over water continue to raise tensions between the two countries and many fear that Afghanistan’s Khamal Khan Dam project on the Helmand River will severely affect the amount of water that flows into the Sistan Baluchistan province of Iran.

Similar concerns have been raised about the Salma Dam, a major hydroelectric dam being constructed in Herat province, which can affect the flow of the Harirod River into Iran, he added.

Pointing to the Leader’s letter to President Rouhani, Zarif stated that “from now on, we will all continue efforts to unanimously resort to the guidelines of the Leader in the best way regarding the implementation of JCPOA.

 

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