TEHRAN -- President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday called for “serious” pursuit of Iran’s water rights from the Hirmand River, which has been at the heart of a long-running water dispute between Tehran and Kabul.
Hirmand River, also known as Helmand River, originates in the Hindu Kush Mountains near Kabul and flows 700 miles (1,126 kilometers) south before funneling into Hamoun wetlands, located in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province.
President Raisi’s remarks came during a cabinet meeting here, saying Tehran has to secure its rights in order to
meet its water needs, especially in the border province of Sistan and Baluchestan.
He instructed the country’s foreign and energy ministers to take up the matter as a priority, asserting that “a popular government would, under no pretexts, back down from pursuing the nation’s rights.”
Raisi also urged the concerned ministries to explore other means of meeting the border province’s burgeoning water needs such as digging deep wells and using special water well drilling rigs.
Iran’s Minister of Energy Ali Akbar Mehrabiyan speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the cabinet meeting said he will pay a visit to Afghanistan to pursue the matter of shared water resources with Afghan authorities.