General retracts ‘cloud theft’ remarks

September 28, 2019

TEHRAN – Head of the Civil Defense Organization says he might have used inappropriate words when he said the enemies conduct cloud theft to prevent rain in Iran.

“Maybe [I] did not use the appropriate words with regard to cloud theft, but the issue is deliberate changes in climate,” Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali said in an interview, ISNA reported on Saturday.

Jalali said there are technologies in the world that can impact the atmosphere and create climate change in the world.

“My request was that scientific and research centers should study these changes,” he explained.

“I said at a scientific conference that I am suspicious of the climate changes in Iran’s area,” General Jalali said. “I’m suspicious of whether they are natural or not.”

In remarks in July 2018, Jalali had said a decrease in annual precipitation in Iran seemed “suspicious”, noting that “foreign hands” might be behind the phenomenon.

“There are scientific centers in the country that conducted a study in this regard and the results confirm this point,” he remarked.

“Joint teams from Israel and one of the neighboring countries are deseeding the clouds entering Iran,” he said, adding, “Also, we are faced with other phenomena such as cloud theft and snow theft.”

His remarks were criticized by some experts at the time. 

Davood Parhizkar, director of Iran’s Meteorological Organization (IMO), categorically denied the weather manipulation claims, saying such claims have no scientific basis and that mankind cannot manipulate the climate.

Recurrent drought spells in Iran are stemmed from climate change and temperature rise and not from other countries’ interference, he added. 

Parhizkar went on to say that extreme weather events such as floods, storms and drought are all resulting from climate change. 

MH/PA

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