Baku, Azerbaijan, June 28
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Iran is the source of 15 percent of dust storms in the world, said Razieh Lak, an official with the Geological Survey and Mineral Explorations Organization of Iran.
Deserts and dried out wetlands, such as Hamoon, Helmand, and Bakhtegan, are the main sources of dust storms in the country, Iran's ISNA news agency quoted Lak as saying on June 28.
She referred to Iraq, Syria, and Jordan as other sources of dust storms in Iran.
Increasing dam construction and changing the efficiency of agricultural lands have also led to emerging of dust storms, she said.
The Geological Survey and Mineral Explorations Organization of Iran is studying the issue of dust storms in association with the geological survey organizations of Belgium, Germany, and India, she noted.
In recent years, dust storms in the western part of Iran have grown in frequency and density. It has on occasions caused people serious respiratory problems, sometimes even forcing them to seek hospital care.
The storms are believed to be the result of dust being carried by atmospheric circulation from lands to the west of Iran.
Some have blamed the desertification of lagoons in Iraq and the strong winds from the deserts of Saudi Arabia for the blanket of dust reaching Iranian cities.
Head of the Iranian Department of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar said in May that Iranian people should tolerate dust storms, as no official can promise to remove the problem.
Military conflicts in the region and unused farmlands have caused the flow of dust storms from Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia toward Iran, she said.