Afghanistan accuse Iran of using the Taliban to undercut water projects

Iran Focus

London, 25 Jan - Afghan officials have accused the Iranian Regime of exploiting its close relationship with the Taliban to target power and water projects.

Hayatullah Hayat, the governor of southern Helmand province, said that Iran is attempting to persuade the Taliban to disable some of the nation’s dams so that Iran can get a bigger share of water for the Helmand River.

He cited classified intelligence reports, which were forwarded to the Afghan palace and the National Security Council.

He said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been providing high-grade weapons to the Taliban so that the terrorist group could attack the Afghan government. He noted that some unexploded mortar missiles which were fired at the provincial capital by the Taliban bore Iranian markings.

The Iranian embassy in Kabul refused to comment, but Tehran has denied a relationship with the Taliban.

Water scarcity is common in the region and Iran has long been pushing for a larger share of the water supply, despite a 1973 treaty which states that Iran shall not make claims to extra water.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that Iran cannot claim any more water under the current treaty and experts in the region, suggest that Iran should make a new deal with Afghanistan if they want more water.

Wadir Safi, a professor of law and political science at Kabul University, said: “We know Iran wants more water than allocated to it in the water-sharing treaty. If Iran wants more water beyond the amount agreed in the treaty, it should consider buying additional water from Afghanistan.”

Iran should not attempt to work with a terrorist cell to subvert the Afghan government in order to get more water.

Asif Nang, the governor of western Farah province, said: “The abundance of new weapons and ammunitions in Taliban's possession has created many questions and doubts.”

He also notes that Iran shelters many Taliban members and their families.

He said: “Families of a number of high-ranking Taliban leaders reside in Iran. They live in cities such as Yazd, Kerman and Mashhad, and come back to Afghanistan for subversive activities.”