Iran, Afghanistan to address Hirmand border issue

TEHRAN, Oct. 08 (MNA) – An Energy Ministry official has said a joint session will address the legal regime of Hirmand and Hariroud border rivers.

Jabbar Vatanfada who was speaking to reporters on Saturday, provided a history of Iran-Afghanistan agreement of 1972 which provided the bedrock of the cooperation on Hirmand and Hariroud border rivers and the mechanisms by which water quota were allocated to both sides of the border; “the deal stipulates that Afghanistan will provide Iranian side of the border with an annual quota of 820 million cubic meters; the deal also predicts a joint committee formation; that committee had been established in 2004 and had met 17 times so far,” he added. “The 17th session saw a considerable amount of understanding by both sides and we hope that water will strengthen bilateral ties.”

On Hariroud border river, Vatanfada pointed to a 1926 agreement with then Soviet Socialist Republics, which discussed construction of a ‘Friendship Dam’ on Hariroud, which was opened in 2004, since it crosses Iran-Turkmenistan border as well, thus forming a trilateral sharing of the water during past decades.

The pressing issue of current situation between Iran and Afghanistan is environmental disaster underway in Iranian side of the border where different governments of Afghanistan glossed over the fact that they had not been allowing Iranian side of the Hirmand River, which had since long passed the border and irrigated Iranian lands. Iranian side of the border now experiences environmental disaster, with underground waters dwindling increasingly, thus rendering the region virtually inhospitable for the locals.

SH/3790096

News Code 120361

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