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Iran To Invest 3 Billion Euros In Border Wall

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Iran announced on Saturday that the government will provide the armed forces with three billion euros to “quickly start sealing the borders” against a backdrop of recent clashes with Taliban forces.

“This comprehensive effort includes the installation of fences, walls, and intelligent border control systems, ensuring a robust defense of our borders,” Iran’s Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mirahmadi said.

On Thursday, Taliban forces captured five Iranian border guards in Afghan territory and handed them over to intelligence officials. Later that day, Iranian state media reported that they had been released.

The Iranian government and the Taliban have been involved in several border disputes over recent months.

According to the representative of Sistan-Baluchestan province, a heavily drought-stricken region in southeastern Iran, the Afghan government diverts the Helmand River’s water through canals and dams. Water from the river plays a crucial role in agricultural irrigation and potable water supply.

While Iran has accused Afghanistan of violating a 1973 treaty by restricting the flow of water, the Taliban has denied the claims, saying there was not enough water to flow toward the Iranian border.

Iranian authorities have claimed for the past two years that the Taliban have agreed to allot 820 million cubic meters of Iran’s water share from Helmand every year. However, the Taliban has not confirmed this agreement, nor has any water been released to Iran.

Clashes at the border over water rights in May last year claimed the lives of at least two Iranians and one Taliban soldier.

Additionally, the situation has been tense along Iran’s eastern borders as the insurgent Sunni Baluch group known as Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) has intensified its operations against Iranian security forces. A key objective of the group is to promote enhanced rights and improved living conditions for the Baluch ethnic minority.

For years, Jaish al-Adl has been a source of tension between Iran and its nuclear neighbor, Pakistan. In January, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) attacked positions in Pakistan in what it described as an attempt to target terrorists. The Pakistani military retaliated by attacking locations in the southeastern region of Iran.

The Jaish al-Adl militants ambushed police vehicles along the Sib and Suran county routes in Sistan-Baluchistan province earlier this month, killing six law enforcement officers. During the same week, the group attacked military posts in Chabahar and Rask, killing 16 police officers; 18 Jaish al-Adl militants were also killed.

Last year, the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran stated that Baluchis are disproportionately targeted and executed by the Iranian criminal justice system. According to him, the level of killings, torture, and brutality against the Baluch minority in Iran is “shocking.”