Tehran, Iran, July 13
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Iran is going to test the Araz River for radioactive, chemical and bacterial pollutants, an official said.
Mohammad Javad Soroush, director of the Iranian Environment Protection Organization's Water and Soil office said that the Environment Protection Department of Ardabil Province, northern Iran, has been given the mission to monitor the river for pollutants.
He said the monitoring mission comes in response to reports that nuclear and aluminum waste from the neighboring country Armenia is spilled into the river and has caused a hike in cancer rates in people living around the river, IRNA news agency reported July 11.
However, he noted, previous tests have not verified the existence of radioactive substances in the river.
Armenia is committed to halt polluting Araz River, Iranian Energy minister, Hamid Chitchian said last year.
The two sides discussed a range of environmental issues, including active cooperation to tackle the Araz River pollution during the visit of Armenian nature protection minister Aram Harutyunyan to Tehran, Chitchian said.
The rising pollution levels in the border river have been blamed mainly on the discharge of untreated sewage from an Armenia-based copper factory into the river water.
The two sides agreed to online monitoring of the recycling plant to ensure the process is not halted.