Iran has once again sought commitment from Afghanistan to the Helmand River Treaty signed between the two sides in 1973.
Iran’s newly appointed ambassador to Kabul, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, in a meeting with Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said Afghanistan's water resources should be managed to prevent waste and protect Iran's water rights from it.
In this meeting, Muttaqi assured the Iranian ambassador that Afghanistan is committed to the Helmand Water Treaty, said a foreign ministry spokesman Zia Ahmad Takal.
“Considering the importance of water, Qomi said efforts should be made to manage water in a way that it is not wasted and Iran’s right is reserved,” Takal said.
International relations experts said Afghanistan pays more each year than Iran’s fixed water right.
“Water is provided to them annually in accordance with the agreement. More water than was agreed upon has even just reached them,” said Nazim Samoon, an analyst.
“The Helmand River’s water commission must restart its work and should fix the amount of water every year,” said Najib Sadid, an analyst.
Iranian media reported that Iran’s president ordered his special envoy and foreign minister to seek his country’s water rights from the Helmand River in Afghanistan so that the Sistan and Baluchistan province of Iran's residents can receive the water they need.
The Helmand River Treaty was signed by the then Prime Minister of Afghanistan Mohammad Musa Shafiq and his counterpart Abbas Hoveida, the former Prime Minister of Iran in 1973.
According to the treaty, Afghanistan 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 annually.