IEA committed to Afghanistan-Iran Water Treaty

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials said this weekend they are committed to abiding by the 1973 Afghanistan-Iran Water Treaty which stipulates the amount of water from Afghanistan that Iran is entitled to annually.

Former Afghan Prime Minister Musa Shafiq signed the water treaty in 1973 (1351 Persian Calendar). According to the treaty, Iran can receive 817 million cubic meters of water, carried by the Helmand River, per year.

Based on the deal, Iran can get 817 million cubic meters of water per year but due to the lack of water management over the past 25 years, Iran has reportedly received about three billion cubic meters annually.

“We are committed to that deal, which was signed in 1351, and we are trying to keep the process as it is [in the contract],” said Balil Karimi, deputy spokesman for the IEA.

Members of the private sector have raised concerns about the problem and said the lack of water management has not benefited Afghans.

“The management of Helmand River water is very important. The IEA should accelerate its efforts for self-sufficiency of Afghanistan and manage water,” said Khan Jan Alokozay, a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Investment.

Economic analysts on the other hand said that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) should review the agreement with Iran and keep the current situation in Afghanistan in mind.

“The deal which was signed in 1351 was based on circumstances at that time; But now, Afghanistan needs more water, and Iran receives more water [than what it should],” said Taj Mohammad Talish, an economic analyst.