KRG to provide less water to Baghdad as Iran blocks flow to Kurdistan

Iran is driving the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to provide less water to its people and consequently those in the rest of Iraq by blocking water flowing to the Kurdistan Region, according to a Kurdish official on Sunday.
author_image Sangar Ali

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Iran is driving the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to provide less water to its people and consequently those in the rest of Iraq by blocking water flowing to the Kurdistan Region, reported a Kurdish official on Sunday.

In a press conference, the KRG's Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources Abdulstar Majid said that Iran, and any other country for that matter, is free to use water resources to meet its people's needs, but not in a way that will result in damages to the Kurdistan Region.

He mentioned that according to international law and agreements that exist between the two nations, it is illegal to block natural water resources to another country.

“Reduction of water flow from Iran to the Kurdistan Region will negatively impact the town of Qaladze, and especially Dukan dam in Sulaimani since 60 percent of the water the dam holds that comes from Iran,” Majid added.

He mentioned that Baghdad had been informed about the issue and that any reduction in water flow to the Kurdistan Region would also pose a severe risk to Baghdad since the water flows through the Kurdistan Region to the rest of Iraq.

“We will be required to allow less water to flow to the south of Iraq to be able to fulfill the water needs of the people and agriculture sector in the Kurdistan Region. Therefore, Baghdad should not be silent on this issue with Iran,” Majid emphasized.

The Minister explained that he has talked with the Iranian Consul General in Erbil regarding this issue, stating that a complete closure of the water flow to the Kurdistan Region would be "a bad idea," especially in the height of summer at a time when people most need it.

“Blocking the stream of water on Eid al-Fitr was a contradiction of all human and religious values, including neighboring relationship. People of Qaladze town went without water for 48 hours,” he noted.

He noted Iran’s friendly relations and hospitality in the past, back when it was home to two million Kurdish refugees fleeing the Kurdistan Region due to the threats and attacks by the Iraqi Baath government.

“We hope Iran will maintain its friendly relations with the Kurdistan Region,” Majid said.

The Kurdish minister recently warned Tehran that the KRG has other cards to play against Iran should this move be a politically-motivated one.

 

Editing by G.H. Renaud