Iran to Resort to Legal Means on Water Dispute with Afghanistan: Spokesman

Iran to Resort to Legal Means on Water Dispute with Afghanistan: Spokesman

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Tehran has plans to refer to legal channels in order to defend its rights to the share of water from the Hirmand River that originates from neighboring Afghanistan.

In comments during a Saturday visit to the Dogharoun border crossing in northeast of Iran, which connects Afghanistan's Herat with Iran's Mashhad, Saeed Khatibzadeh said Afghanistan has so far failed to adhere to the terms of the 1973 water treaty between the two sides.

He noted that high commissioners of the two countries have discussed ways to secure Iran’s water rights from the Hirmand River, known as Helmand River in Afghanistan, on several occasions in the border province of Sistan Balouchestan, without any significant breakthrough.

Iran and Afghanistan have been locked in a protracted water dispute, which has prevented them from realizing the vast potential of bilateral trade ties, Press TV reported.

At the heart of the dispute is the Hirmand River, which originates in the Hindu Kush Mountains near Kabul and flows 700 miles (1,126 kilometers) south before flowing into Hamoun wetlands, located in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province.

The two countries signed a water-sharing accord on the Hirmand River in 1973, under which Afghanistan pledged to deliver an average of 820 million cubic meters of water per annum to Iran.

Iran has repeatedly criticized Afghanistan for failing to honor the agreement in letter and spirit.

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