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Our waters, our right

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AT-KABUL: Afghan government says that water is the right and need of Afghan people and more efforts should be carried out in retaining and using the waters.

Javid Faisal, spokesman for the chief executive said Tuesday that Afghanistan was committed in agreements with Iran over water and considers its interests as priority.

“Afghanistan works on retaining the waters and this is our right, but we are committed in international agreements over water sharing. We need our waters more than any other things and we use the waters,” Faisal said.

Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif said recently that Afghanistan should give Tehran a logical right over water, otherwise, he warned that his country would take responsive measures. He did not provide details about the measures.

Iran says that less water from the Helmand river pours there compared to the past years.

Based on an agreement signed in 1972, Afghanistan should give 26 cubic meter water per second to Iran from Helmand river in ordinary circumstances.

Farooq Azam, water affairs expert said that in case of drought, Afghanistan has the right to give less water to Iran, based on the agreement.

“We did not have enough snowfall and rainfall in the past winter and the current spring. Our northern areas are threatened by drought which has affected Helmand river as well,” Azam said.

Last year, Iranian president had warned that Tehran would not remain silent against Afghanistan’s water dam plans.

Afghan parliament believes that Iran decides to bring more political and economic pressures on Afghanistan.