Climate crisis: Iran and Afghanistan dispute Helmand water rights
Each accusing the other of firing first, Iran and Afghanistan are increasingly taking a belligerent stance on the sharing of water supplies as a rapidly changing climate exacerbates water insecurity in the region.
The dispute between the two countries mainly revolves around the Helmand River, whose turquoise waters emerge from the Hindu Kush mountains in east-central Afghanistan and flow southwest across more than half the length of the country before emptying into the Helmand swamps on the border with Iran.
Iran depends heavily on this water for farmland irrigation in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, and has recently pointed the finger at Afghanistan for limiting the supply.
Tehran in May accused Kabul of violating a 1973 treaty that grants Iranians the right to use 22 cubic metres of water per second with the possibility of an additional four cubic metres.
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