Iran slams Turkey's construction of dam on border waters

Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that Turkey’s construction of a dam on the waterways over the border between the two countries is not acceptable, Middle East Monitor cited local news agency IRNA on Wednesday.

Speaking at the parliament, Amir-Abdollahian described Turkey’s upstream dam-building unacceptable, according to the Irna news agency.

“It is not acceptable for us that our neighbour country, Turkey, takes measures in the field of dam construction which will cause problems for our people in the country and the region,” Abdollahian was quoted by the Irna as saying.

The Iranian Foreign Minister said that they had raised the issue at least three times in recent months during face-to-face meetings in New York and Tehran and in a phone call with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“I asked the Turkish Foreign Minister to pay particular attention to the construction of dams on the River Aras,” Amir-Abdollahian added.

The River Aras rises south of Erzurum in the Bingöl Dağları (mountains) of Turkey and flows eastward, forming for approximately 275 miles (440 km) the international boundary between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the north and Turkey and Iran on the south.

Both Turkey and Iran have built several dams over the years, reducing the water flow into Iraq.

Turkey's construction of a dam on the Aras River poses a particular threat to Iran's access to water.

Iraq and Syria signed the 1997 United Nations Watercourses Convention that regulates the use of transnational water resources, while Turkey and Iran did not ratify it.

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