Iraq says cannot contain dust storm into Iran

August 4, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN – The Iraqi Environment Ministry says it cannot control the dust storms originating from Iraq and spreading into large parts of Iran Iran.

Because of so many major problems facing Iraq, the environmental issues are not a priority for the Iraqi government right now, Iraqi Environment Deputy Minister Kamal Hussein said at a press conference on dust storms in Tehran on Tuesday.
He said that national security, provision of electricity and clean water, and other services are among issues which take precedence over the environmental issues in his country.
“We are sorry we cannot help the Iranians,” he added.
He went on to say that about 3 billion dollars is required to tackle the dust storms.
In recent years, drought and lack of precipitation have exacerbated the problem, Kamali explained.
The dust storm has turned into a major headache for southern and western provinces in Iran. The dimension of the dust is getting larger day by day. For example, the dust brought Tehran to a standstill last year, forcing a closure of the city for two days.
Ali Mohammad Nourian of Iran’s Environment Organization stated that 70 zones have been identified as facing exposure to dust storms.
These zones are dispersed across Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, he added.
Within the past two years, the reach of dust storms has increased from five provinces to affecting 15 provinces in Iran, he said.
Iran needs over $400 million to overcome the dust storms in the west and southwest of the country, Nourian explained