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Helmand River Treaty: Iran perceives Taliban as ‘strategic threat’

Iran’s foreign ministry on Thursday said that the recent political changes in Afghanistan (Taliban takeover) could turn into a strategic threat to Iran’s interests.

“If the Taliban government with the current thought and format gets established in Afghanistan, it definitely will be a strategic threat against our country’s national interests. There is no doubt about it,” said General Director of the Iranian foreign ministry’s west Asia department, Rasoul Mousavi, reported Tolo News.

Mousavi made the statement after confirming the Taliban’s recognition of the 1973 Helmand River Treaty.

The Taliban in unofficial meetings with Iranian officials said they recognize the Helmand River Treaty signed between Afghanistan and Iran in 1973.

According to the treaty, Afghanistan is committed to sharing the water from the Helmand River with Iran and will supply 26 cubic meters of water per second, or 850 million cubic meters per annum.

Former president Ashraf Ghani had repeatedly said Afghanistan would not give water free of charge to any country, especially to Iran, reported Tolo News.

Ghani had said he will give water to the neighbouring countries in exchange for oil, but will not give it away for free.

Although the Islamic Emirate has not rejected or confirmed the remarks of the Iranian official, they have sparked reactions among the people and analysts.

Attaullah Afghan, the former head of the Helmand provincial council, said the level of water has lowered in Helmand River, and said that the river’s water flow into Iran should not be allowed, reported Tolo News.

“Iran’s request for water is not accepted to the Helmand people because they themselves face a water shortage,” he said.

“The Iranians want Afghanistan’s water to not be managed properly,” said Hamid Mujadadi, a university lecturer.

(ANI)




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