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Taliban says not want relations with Iran to deteriorate

“We don’t want relations with our neighboring countries to deteriorate. Our request to all neighboring countries, including Iran, is to resolve these issues through diplomatic channels,” Hafiz Zia Ahmad told Arab News on Monday, as tension at their border eased following skirmishes over the weekend.

Taliban forces opened fire at the Sasoli border checkpoint in the Zabul District on Saturday morning. Two Iranian border guards were martyred and 2 other citizens were injured in the clashes.

The current situation is normal, and the Taliban is never in favor of escalation, he said.

Earlier on Monday, Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said “There is no problem at the present time” and that “everything is calm” at the Afghan-Iranian border. 

Gul Mohammed Qutrat, a police spokesman in Nimroz, said problems at the border have been addressed. 

“Currently, the situation is under control,” he told Arab News. “There is no tension at all at the border.” 

Hirmand is the longest watercourse in Afghanistan. It rises in the Hindu Kush Mountains west of Kabul and flows in an arc southwest until it empties out into the Hamoun wetlands, located in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province.

Following more than a century of rifts over Hirmand’s water supply, Iran and Afghanistan signed a treaty in 1973 to establish a means of regulating each country’s use of the river.

Iran should receive an annual share of 820 million cubic meters from Hirmand under the accord, which Afghanistan has grossly violated in letter and spirit, endangering the lives of many Iranians who rely on Hamoun wetlands for drinking water, agriculture, and fishing.

Afghanistan has also built dams on the Hirmand which have constricted the water flow into Iran.

RHM/PR

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