Iranian Parliamentarian Says Taliban Forces Not Treating Iran’s Border Guards With Respect


What happened? Iran’s Parliamentarian, Mohammad Sargazi, who represents constituencies in Sistan region on the border with Afghanistan, is grabbing headlines again as he said that the Taliban forces have “begged Iran’s border guards away from dignity and non-diplomatic”.


Go deeper:

  • In an open session of the Iranian parliament, Mohammad Sargazi called on Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of the Islamic Republic to address this issue.
  • Sargazi said, “The Afghan border guard have been attacking our borders and border guards with actions far from their dignity and non-diplomatic behaviour.”


Back story: On Monday, the Taliban arrested and beat an Iranian border guard at the border crossing between Afghanistan and Iran at Nimroz Silk Bridge.

  • Sources said that the incident occurred after a fuel tanker driver at the checkpoint encountered an inappropriate encounter by the Iranian border guard, speeding up his vehicle and bringing the border guards to the Taliban’s checkpoint.
  • Taliban officials later released the Iranian border guard. At the same time, the Taliban on Wednesday, February 30, went to apologize to Iranian border guards after beating the Iranian border guards with flowers and sweets.


Zoom out: However, what matters is that this Parliamentarian has not spoken against the Taliban for the first time. He has, in fact, raised his voice against the group on a number of occasions. Most recently, a month ago, he had stated that the ruling Taliban group in Afghanistan has been warned that Afghan refugees will be expelled from the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan if the region does not receive the water supply it is entitled to under a water-sharing agreemnet between Iran and Afghanistan.

  • Sargazi had said that Iran has become more serious in its efforts to persuade the Taliban administration in Afghanistan to comply with its obligations under the 1973 Helmand River water treaty.
  • Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has ordered the country’s foreign ministry to urgently pursue the issue of water rights from the Helmand River amid reports suggesting that people in the Sistan region may face acute water shortages in the upcoming months in the absence of water supply from Afghanistan.


Why it matters? The spat between Iran and Taliban is of concern because just last week Taliban officially took over the Afghan embassy in Tehran and stated that it will be the beginning of new relations between the two countries.

  • However, both countries have bones of contention like water rights and unresolved border disputes between them which are likely to cause friction.
  • Another bone of contention is the handling of Afghan refugees in Iran, which has seen most Afghans coming to their neighbouring country for help in order to escape the Taliban. With such public spats between the officials of the two countries, the only one suffering are the common citizens like Afghan refugees.
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