Rouhani calls his administration ‘government of environment’

June 8, 2015

TEHRAN - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has underlined that his administration attaches great significance to the protection of environment.

President Rouhani made the remarks on Sunday in the 10th National Environment Award ceremony.

The administration has high regard for the environment and insists on the protection of natural resources and wildlife habitats, Rouhani added.

“Restoring Lake Urmia, the second largest lake in the Middle East after the Caspian Sea and the sixth largest salt-water lake on the planet, was among the first bills ratified during the [tenure of the] present administration,” he added.

Rouhani further highlighted the role that the Iranian nation can play in preserving the environment.

Rouhani called his administration “the government of environment” and said “if environment is not taken care of sustainable development, technological development and human health cannot endure.”

Tackling environmental situations and protecting natural resources entail the balanced utilization of nature, promotion of environment consciousness, and investment in clean technologies, the president noted.

Rouhani said it is necessary to guard the environment for children and future generations.

--------Protection of water, soil, and air

The president further said, “Today the protection of water, soil, and air are good instances of conjoining the good.”

The administration has supported initiatives to counter the factors that are detrimental to the environment, he said, elaborating that such initiatives include offering cleaner fuels and producing vehicles that conform to environmental standards.

He said the government banned consumption of petrol produced by petrochemical companies and distributed Euro-4 gasoline in big cities and set environmental standards for cars introduced to the market.

The president also voiced determination to increase gas extraction from the fields that Iran shares with its neighbors, saying the country is capable of producing more gas as an alternative for mazut, a highly polluting fuel for industrial centers and power plants.

Rouhani also called for collective efforts by regional countries to settle Iran’s environmental issues such as the haze and dust particles that enter Iran from Iraq, which according to some experts including MP Mohammad-Mehdi Shahriari, are polluted with depleted uranium due to the U.S. Army’s use of ammunition containing the substance while the U.S. troops were in Iraq in the 2000s.

--------- ‘Oppressive’ sanctions

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani called for the removal of “oppressive” Western sanctions to revive the Iranian economy.

With the removal of the sanctions, capital could flow in, and financial, environmental, industrial, and employment issues would be resolved, he added.

“The cruel, unjust sanctions must be lifted so that doors to investment would open. Sanctions must be lifted so that environmental and youth employment issues would be resolved and the country’s economy reaches a desirable state,” he said.

“Those who exerted sanctions on Iran made an oppressive move against the nation, but some people (inside the country) did not know what the sanctions were and did not know that it is like a fever which turns into a disease,” the president noted.

“These sanctions are like fever. At its early stage, the person says it is not important and does not care; but when the fever intensifies and starts to affect, it is already late and he should strive to recover.”

MD/S