An Iranian lawmaker on Saturday called on Afghanistan’s interim government to properly supply Iran with its share of water from the Hirmand River, and stay committed to a 1973 water-sharing treaty between the two countries.
“All agreements with the Afghan side should lead to the realization of the Hirmand River water rights, as the lives of one million people in the northern part of Sistan-Baluchestan province depend on the water of the Hirmand River,” said Mohammad Sargazi during an interview with Iranian media.
The parliament member declared that the legislative body called on the foreign ministry to discuss the issue with an Afghan delegation which visited Tehran last Saturday.
“Our demand is that in exchange for providing abundant services to our brothers in Afghanistan and their residents in Iran, they should also fulfill their own promise. It definitely should not be a one-sided interaction, just as they are seeking to secure their interests in relation to Iran, we also need to secure the interests of the people of Iran,” Sargazi noted.
Iran and Afghanistan, both of which grappling with low rainfall due to environmental changes, have been locked in a tussle over the water share of the Hirmand River for more than two decades now.
The Hirmand River is considered to be the only vital waterway in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan. The river takes its source in the Baba Mountains of Afghanistan.
Since the Taliban took over in 2021, the de facto leaders of Afghanistan have emphasized adherence to the Hirmand treaty, but in practice, Iran has not received its due share of water from the river. This has caused tensions to grow between the two sides in recent months.
Iran is lawfully supposed to receive an annual share of 820 million cubic meters from Hirmand.