On Sunday, the Taliban alluded to attempt a takeover of Iran amidst growing tensions over water disputes, an issue that has already claimed three lives.
Obviously, the chances of a successful Taliban invasion of Iran is super, super low.
A high-ranking Taliban commander released a video statement declaring that they would confront Iran’s Revolutionary Guard “with more passion” than they engaged US forces, and hinted at a possible invasion of Iran.
Senior Taliban commander Abdulhamid Khorasani, aka Nasser Badri, has in a video message warned that the group will fight against Iranians "with more passion" than they did against the US forces.
"We will conquer Iran soon if Taliban's leaders give the green light for jihad." pic.twitter.com/dodCIyUXp3
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) May 27, 2023
Another provocative video from the Taliban has been making rounds on social media.
In this video, a Taliban member sarcastically offers a jerrycan of water to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, saying, “Mr. Raisi, take this water barrel and don’t attack, we’re terrified.”
Iranian media’s account of the clashes remains vague, suggesting drug trafficking as a possible cause in one report and claiming that the Taliban initiated gunfire at the IRGC officers at the border.
The Taliban, on the other hand, claims the opposite.
Various media outlets, including the Associated Press (AP) and Iran International, report that the skirmishes are over a water dispute, a narrative that aligns with the content of the Taliban’s video.
Earlier this month, President Raisi admonished the Taliban over their violation of Iran’s rights to the Helmand River, a water source shared between the two countries. “I warn the rulers of Afghanistan to immediately give the people their water rights. Take my words seriously now or don’t complain later,” Raisi said.
Tensions over water allocation from the river have been on the rise over the past two years, ever since the Taliban assumed control of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US forces.
A 1973 treaty dictates that Afghanistan must provide Iran with a specified amount of water from the river originating from Afghanistan.
However, reports suggest that Afghanistan has been violating the treaty, with reports claiming that Iran is receiving only four percent of the owed water. This issue is of considerable significance given the persistent droughts hitting both Iran and Afghanistan.