Rouhani: Environmental issues are ‘extra-national, extra-regional’

July 3, 2017 - 20:30

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that environmental issues are “extra-national and extra-regional challenges”, noting regional wars have caused environmental problems.

“The only way to live peacefully in the West Asia and Middle East region is adopting a win-win policy in the area of environment, helping and standing beside each other,” Rouhani said during an opening speech at the International Conference on Combating Sand and Dust Storms in Tehran.

“We cannot succeed in overcoming environmental challenges without cooperating with neighboring countries,” the president added.

He urged an end to regional wars, because they cause environmental degradations such as dust storms in addition to political crises.

He said Daesh and other terrorist groups’ destructive actions such as destruction of farms turn agricultural lands into deserts which cause dust storms.

President Rouhani urges an end to regional wars which have caused environmental degradations such as dust storms in addition to political crises.

The Iranian president also said that the environmental issues are important for the “health of the society” and “development”.

Planning, investing and international cooperation are required to settle environmental problems, Rouhani pointed out.

Elsewhere, he said, “Terrorism is a pandemic issue and if any country thinks that it can use terrorism as a tool to apply its policies in the region and the world is totally mistaken.”

No country can harm others and be safe, he asserted.

Commenting on his government’s policies in the area of environment, he said that the government prioritized environment and called itself “the government of environment”.

The first decision in the government was to tackle environmental problems such as reviving Lake Urmia, he explained.

“It does not mean that the government’s national actions in the sphere of environment were enough; however, valuable steps have been taken in this respect,” he noted.

He added that his next government which starts its work in August will take complementary actions to save the Lake Urmia.

The International Conference on Combating Sand and Dust Storms started on July 3 and will last until July 5.

The conference is hosted by the Department of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the cooperation of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, UN Environment and the UN Development Program, in collaboration with other relevant UN entities.


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