Tehran unable to tackle dust storms
By Sara Rajabova
Environmental problems in Iran have become more acute in recent years creating great difficulties for the people.
Frequent dust storms across Iranian provinces are one of the major ecological problems experienced in the country, and it has presented a great challenge to the government.
The environment protection organization of Tehran Province has announced that it is unable to tackle a sweeping dust storm in the city.
The department’s director, Hadi Heidarzadeh said the organization is unable to do anything about a dust storm that has been over Tehran for a few days, Fars news agency reported.
It has been three days since a new wave of dust storm has swept Tehran. The dust comes from Iraq.
Heidarzadeh said desert cleaning, which falls within the duties of the Agriculture Ministry, is needed to prevent dust storms.
In recent years, dust storms in Iranian provinces have increased in frequency and density. The heavy dust storms have on occasions caused people to experience serious respiratory problems, sometimes even forcing them to seek medical care.
A heavy dust storm in Iran's capital city reportedly killed at least four people and injured 30 last June.
The storms cause power cuts and traffic accidents from poor visibility as dust and sand engulf parts of the capital.
A while ago, Head of Iran's Environment Protection Organization, Masoumeh Ebtekar warned that the Iranian people should tolerate dust storms, as no official can promise to remove the problem.
She added that the administration does not intend to conceal the realities regarding the dust particles challenge as it requires long term planning to overcome the issue.
Dust storms in Iran’s southern provinces have increased in February, sparking public protests.
In February, Ebtekar said coping with dust particles problem requires long term planning and that temporary arrangements are not practical.
The storms are believed to be the result of dust being carried by atmospheric circulation from lands to the west of Iran.
A combination of drought, shrinking wetlands and overall environmental deterioration in neighboring Iraq and Saudi Arabia are to blame for the situation in western Iran.
Sara Rajabova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on
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