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Monday, October 2, 2023

At Least 3 Die in Clashes on Iranian-Afghan Border

No less than three folks had been killed and several other others injured after clashes broke out alongside the Iranian-Afghan border on Saturday night time, in accordance with Iranian state media and an Afghan official, escalating tensions between the 2 international locations amid a heated dispute over water rights in current weeks.

No less than two Iranian border guards had been killed within the preventing, which started round midday on Saturday and ended after six hours alongside the southwestern border of Afghanistan, in accordance with Iranian state media and Afghan information stories. One soldier with the Taliban administration in Afghanistan was additionally killed, the Afghan Ministry of Inside stated.

Officers from each international locations accused the opposite of initiating the clashes. An official in southeastern Iran stated that calm had returned to the border space on Saturday night time, in accordance with Iranian state media.

The skirmishes come amid rising political pressure between the 2 international locations over the move of water from the Helmand River in Afghanistan into jap Iran, a area that has been tormented by drought. The mouth of the river is alongside the border in southwestern Afghanistan and southeastern Iran, the place the clashes came about.

In current weeks, Iranian officers have accused the Taliban administration of violating a decades-old treaty between the 2 international locations by limiting the move of water out of Afghanistan, an accusation Taliban officers have denied.

The difficulty of water has been a flashpoint between Afghanistan and Iran for hundreds of years. The 2 international locations are certain by the Helmand River, the longest river in Afghanistan, which flows from the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountain vary and feeds into wetlands alongside the nation’s border with Iran. The river is a vital supply of consuming water, in addition to agriculture and fishing, in southern Afghanistan and southeastern Iran.

Within the Nineteen Forties and ’50s, Afghan governments constructed two main dams alongside the Helmand River, giving Afghanistan the facility to chop off the move of water into Iran and alarming Iranian officers because the nation skilled durations of intense drought. Although the 2 international locations signed a treaty on sharing water sources in 1973, it was by no means ratified, and the move of water from the river has remained a heated level of rivalry ever since.

For the reason that Taliban seized energy in August 2021, the Iranian authorities have maintained relations with Afghanistan, and in February, Iran grew to become one of some overseas governments to simply accept Taliban-appointed diplomats of their nation.

However this month, President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran warned the Taliban administration to not violate the phrases of the 1973 water treaty and urged the Afghan authorities to permit Iranian hydrologists to examine the river’s water ranges.

“We won’t permit the rights of our folks to be violated,” Mr. Raisi stated.

On Saturday morning, the Taliban administration’s minister of overseas affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, met with Iran’s high diplomat in Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, to debate the water dispute, amongst different points, in accordance with Hafiz Zia Ahmad, the deputy spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Overseas Affairs.

After the clashes broke out alongside the border, the Afghan Ministry of Nationwide Protection known as for the 2 international locations to succeed in a negotiated settlement.

“Making excuses for warfare and destructive actions will not be within the curiosity of any of the events,” the ministry stated in an announcement.

Safiullah Padshah contributed reporting.

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