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Iran to launch major water transfer project from Sea of Oman

Iranian parliament allows the start of works on a major water transfer project from the Sea of Oman.

The Iranian parliament has authorized the start of construction works on a major water transfer project from the Sea of Oman in southeastern Iran.

In a Monday letter addressed to Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi, the parliament enacted the Legislation on Transfer of Water from Sea of Oman to Sistan and Baluchestan Province.

The letter, signed by Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, gives the administrative government five days to start implementing the legislation.

The legislation was ratified in the parliament on Saturday when 210 lawmakers in the 290-member chamber voted for it. The project is aimed at responding to an acute water shortage in Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran’s largest province by area which is located along the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The project comes amid Iran’s renewed push to obtain its water rights from the Helmand River in Afghanistan.

Iranian authorities say they are not happy with the amount of water released by a new government in Afghanistan from a dam on Helmand.

The water transfer project from the Sea of Oman has its own critics inside Iran as some have expressed concerns about the environmental ramifications of the projects as well as its huge financial costs.

Others, however, believe the project will fix economic and social problems in the region while it will allow water transfer pipelines to spread to the the economically more prosperous region of Khorasan in eastern Iran.

In November 2020, Iran started pumping desalinated water from the Persian Gulf to the southern province of Kerman. An extension of the project financed by steel and iron manufacturers in central Iran was opened in March 2021.

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