A top Taliban jihadist warned his group would “conquer Iran” if given approval in a video that surfaced this weekend after a deadly shootout between Iranian border guards and the Afghan terrorist group.
Iran and the Taliban regime, both radical Islamist and terrorist entities, have enjoyed superficially friendly relations. Iran is one of the few nations in the world to recognize the jihadists as the official “interim” government of Afghanistan in late 2021, following the Taliban’s conquest of the country after 20 years out of power. On the border between Nimroz, Afghanistan, and Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran, however, the two countries have experienced decades of tensions over the limited water supply.
Iran and Afghanistan share the Helmand River, which is dammed in Afghanistan. Iranian authorities have accused the Taliban of using the dam to limit the flow of water into Iran, resulting in extreme shortages in the border regions. The two sides signed a treaty in 1973, long before the Taliban first took power in the 1990s, in which Afghanistan committed to guaranteeing Iran’s water supply at the border.
Afghan officials insist that they are not limiting how much water is flowing to Iran – they are experiencing the same drought, the Taliban asserted this month, and do not have any more water than what is crossing the border already. Afghan news agencies, quoting local farmers and other civilians, found evidence that Afghans are facing dire water shortages like those documented in Iran.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned Taliban leaders to “immediately give the people their water rights” in May, emphasizing, “take my words seriously now or don’t complain later.”
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