Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said on Monday that while Afghanistan is committed to the 1973 water pact with Iran, Tehran must modify its expectations considering the current region and the country’s drought.
Muttaqi said while speaking at an event in the capital city of Kabul, “The drought in Afghanistan and the region should not be overlooked.”
“We also expect the officials of Iran to adjust their expectations with the 1973 treaty, and the criteria for judgment and comments should be based on the provisions contained in the treaty,” he added.
Muttaqi’s remarks came amid rising tensions between Afghanistan and Iran over water rights in the Helmand River.
In his remarks to the people of Sistan, Balochistan, Iran, Muttaqi said: “Dear brothers of Sistan, Balochistan, believe that our hearts have sympathy for you as much as it has for the people of Nimroz, Farah and Helmand, and we consider your pain as our pain.”
He also continued, “It can be seen that there is no water in the Kamal Khan dam. You know that the distance from Kajaki Dam to Sistan Baluchistan is about 600 kilometres, and on the other hand, this desert route and lands are thirsty and without water. If there is even little water, it will either be absorbed by the ground or evaporate.”
He also pinpointed the current issues with the Kajaki dam and other relevant problems. He said the dam “reduced its storage capacity to less than half due to the effect of sediment and the lack of dredging.”
He asked the Iranian officials not to politicize the water issues and that it needs to be understood and talks rather than creating noise in the media.
Earlier, the Iranian officials asked the de facto regime to consider Iran’s water rights over the Helmand River based on the 1973 accord, while the Kabul administration reiterated that it is committed to the accord.