Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, November 20th, 2017

Iranian Envoy Says Rouhani’s Remarks were Misunderstood

Iranian Envoy Says Rouhani’s  Remarks were Misunderstood

TEHRAN - Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Reza Bahrami says his country respects Afghanistan’s national interests and that Rouhani’s remarks were misunderstood by Afghans Iran’s Ambassador to Kabul, Mohammad Reza Bahrami, in an interview with TOLOnews on Friday, said the remarks made by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Afghanistan’s dam projects “were misunderstood by Afghans”. Bahrami said his country respects Afghanistan’s national interests and that Rouhani did not mean what have been taken from his words in Afghanistan. According to him, the Iranian president pointed out to Afghanistan’s dam projects when he was talking on sandstorms problems as a regional crisis.
“No doubt, (Hassan) Rouhani did not mean what has been perceived from his remarks. He was talking about regional challenges, about a regional crisis. He talks about (the fact) that we (regional countries) all are like a family and we should be a powerful family,” said Bahrami.
The Iranian envoy said every country has the right to manage its waters. “If look at the incidents from the prospect of interaction and cooperation and from the famous proverb of win-win term, in addition to preserving the national interests of every country, at the end all the countries which are involved in the issue, will be affected by the results. These are the interests which will convince everyone,” he added. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani criticized Afghanistan’s dam project at a conference on sandstorms in Tehran on Monday and said they cannot remain silent about such projects.
"Construction of several dams in Afghanistan, such as Kajaki, Kamal Khan, Salma and others in the north and south of Afghanistan, affect our Khorasan and Sistan-Baluchistan provinces,” Rouhani said. Rouhani’s remarks met with serious reactions in Afghanistan. Some Afghans said they consider it as Iran’s “direct interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs”. “Instead of thanking Afghanistan which most of its waters flow to Pakistan and Iran, they interfere in our internal affairs,” said Imaduddin, a resident of Badakhshan. “Iranian president thinks that the water is belonged to them, while it belongs to us,” said Kamran, a resident of Kabul.
Afghan government says the environmental challenges which was discussed by Rouhani at the conference have affected Afghanistan more than Iran. “Terrible environmental effects in some parts of the country, like salt piles in Ghorian district in Farah province, in Chakhansur, Kang areas in Nimroz province are negative impacts of environment that have affected Afghanistan’s environment,” said Basir Azimi, the deputy minister energy and water. Kamal Khan Dam in Nimroz, Kajaki in Helmand and Bakhsh Abad Dam in Farah are under construction, the ministry of energy and water said. Studies have shown that the Helmand River has the capacity to fill 18 dams. On an average basis, the scale of water resources in Afghanistan is estimated up to 70 billion cubic meters annually. But 80 percent of these waters are flowing to Iran, Pakistan and other neighboring nations in the Central Asian countries.  Iran is one of the neighbors which receive much water from Afghanistan’s two water zones – Helmand and Harirrod zones. Based on Article 5 of the Helmand River Treaty, Iran shall make no claim to the water of the Helmand River in excess of the amounts specified in this Treaty, even if additional amounts of water may be available in the Helmand Lower Delta and may be put to a beneficial use by Iran. (Tolonews)