Iran concerned about dam construction on Helmand River
Officials of both the ministries rejecting Iran's concerns said the Kamal Khan Dam would be built at any cost as Afghanistan had the right to do so.
The issue arises after Afghan Consulate in Mashad on August 3, 2011 sent a letter to the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, saying Iranian experts feared Afghanistan was not following the protocol that gives Iran the right over Helmand River water.
Foreign Minister of Iran has claimed that Sistan and Baluchistan provinces had a right over the Helmand's river water, the flow of which to Iran had considerably decreased, resulting in drying up of the Hamoon River and causing draught in Sistan.
The letter quoted Director of Water Agency in Sistan and Baluchistan, Hameed Qazweeni, as saying that Afghanistan had to provide 820 million cubic meters of water to Iran a year, but the country had failed to do so.
Habibullah Rafi, a member of the Afghan Academy of Sciences and a political analyst said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should have given a direct reply to Iran instead of sending the letter to power and energy ministry.
When contacted the acting water and energy minister, Muhammad Ismail Khan, on the issue, he rejected Iran's objections over the dam's construction. However, he said nothing about the letter.
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