Iran seeks dialogue with Taliban over drought claims

Iran’s foreign minister has urged Taliban to allow the visit of Iranian technical teams to Afghanistan’s Kajakai Dam to measure its water level and verify drought claims.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a post on his Twitter page, reacting to Taliban’s claims that the low water level of the Hirmand River is the reason for their failure to honor Iran’s water rights under a 1973 treaty.

The Hirmand Treaty between Iran and Afghanistan entitled the former to receive 20 million cubic meters of water from the river per year.

On Thursday, the Taliban government issued a statement, saying Iran’s frequent requests for water and “inappropriate” comments on media are “harmful,” adding it is committed to the 1973 treaty.

This comes as the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) spokesman said Thursday that satellite photos show that the Taliban have made alterations to the river’s route, preventing its water from reaching Iran.

The Hirmand River originates in the Hindu Kush Mountains near Afghanistan’s capital Kabul and runs 1,126 kilometers south before flowing into Hamoun wetlands, located in Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan provinces, which Amir-Abdollahian said are suffering from drought. ■

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