Tehran, May 29 (IANS): A top Iranian military commander has said that the security of Iran's common border with Afghanistan is fully guaranteed as it is completely under the control of Iranian Army's Ground Force.
Commander of the Iranian Army's Ground Force Kioumars Heydari made the remarks during a visit to Iran's southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province that borders Afghanistan, one day after armed clashes between Iranian border guards and Taliban fighters in the area killed three people, Xinhua news agency reported, citing Iran's semi-official Fars news agency.
He said the Iranian armed forces' presence on the common border does not mean that the country is threatened by any danger, but is intended to maintain the intelligence dominance and ensure security along the border.
Iran is committed to the principle of good neighborliness, but will respond accordingly if the other side fails to abide by laws and regulations, he added.
During the same visit, Iran's Deputy Police Chief Qassem Rezaei said the clashes ended on Saturday and complete calm has been restored to the common border.
Two Iranian border guards and one Taliban fighter were killed, and several others were injured during the armed clashes near a border police station between Iran and Afghanistan on Saturday, according to Iran's official IRNA news agency and Afghanistan's Interior Ministry.
The two sides accused each other of opening fire first on Saturday morning near the police station on the border of Sistan and Baluchestan province and the Afghan province of Nimroz.
The reason for the skirmish is not known yet and the Iranian Embassy in Kabul and Afghanistan's Taliban-run acting Ministry of National Defense have started correspondence and phone calls to investigate the cause of the clashes.
Tensions began to grow between the two neighbors in the past weeks due to a dispute over Iran's water share from the Helmand River. According to a 1973 treaty between the two countries, Iran is entitled to receive 820 million cubic meters of water from the Helmand River annually. Iran has accused Afghanistan's caretaker Taliban government of blocking the river water from reaching Iran's drought-hit Sistan and Baluchestan province.
In a statement issued last week, the Taliban said Iran's frequent requests for water and "inappropriate" comments on media are "harmful," adding it is committed to the 1973 treaty.