Residents in five counties in the deprived Iranian border province of Sistan and Baluchistan held a rally on Friday to demand what they called their “water rights” from the Helmand River at the zero point of the Iran-Afghanistan border.
Citizens of Zabol, Zahak, Helmand, Nimrouz and Hamoon counties were among those who attended the protest on the Milk port and border crossing. Holding up placards and chanting slogans, they demanded Iranian officials enter into serious dialogue with the Taliban for an equitable share of water resources. Videos of the rally posted on social media also showed some protesters throwing stones at passing Afghan-owned trucks.
Iran and Afghanistan signed an agreement on joint drawing of Helmand River water in 1972, but locals insist the agreement is no longer fit for purpose and Iran’s share should be increased.