TEHRAN, Iran, Jan. 19
The authorities of Afghanistan opened the gates of Kamal Khan Dam on Hirmand River, allowing its water to flow into drought-hit Hamoun Lake in southeast Iran, Trend reports via ILNA.
The water will fill Hamun Lake in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province, governor of Sistan and Baluchestan Province of Iran Hossein Modarres-Khiabani said.
The news was confirmed by Iran's deputy ambassador in Kabul, Hassan Mortazavi, who said the water was released following extensive talks between the officials of the two sides earlier this month.
Iran has long accused Afghanistan of restricting the flow of water from the Hirmand River, known as the Helmand River in Afghanistan, by constructing dams over it.
Before Kamal Khan Dam was constructed, according to officials, nine billion cubic meters of water would pour into Hamoun wetlands, which has now dropped to less than 800 million cubic meters per annum.
Hamoun is the largest freshwater lake in Iran, tied closely to the region's biodiversity and people’s livelihood in Sistan-Baluchestan, one of the poorest provinces in Iran that has for years suffered due to drought and shoddy water management.
Iranian officials say the previous Afghan government's decision to cut the flow of water was taken under US pressure.