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March 28 2015
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Over 320,000 old cars scrapped in Iran: official

- Over 320,000 old cars were scrapped in Iran since the beginning of current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2014), according to an Iranian transportation official. Feyzbakhsh said the old and sub-standard vehicles are responsible for over 70 percent of air pollution in the megacities of Iran. - 3/16/15

Iranian Parliament rejects $22-million budget for environment protection

- In its study of the next year's national budget bill (March 5015-March 2016), Majlis on Wednesday refused to pass a $22 million bill intended to fund projects to protect environment. The fund reportedly sought to battle environmental issues, especially dust storms that have recently crippled the country's western parts - 2/21/15

Water shortages a problem in cities across Iran

- The Head of Iran's Department of Environment has issued a warning about the water resources for 14 cities across the country, adding that current conditions are also raising serious concerns about the water supply for the Capital. - 2/20/15

Iranian Cheetah's dwindling numbers lower than thought

- The head of the Iranian Cheetah Association says the endangered feline's numbers are still falling in Iran, despite efforts, and their situation has become more critical. Morteza Eslami told ISNA that earlier estimates pointed to a population of between 70 and 120 Asiatic cheetahs in the country but the number is now put between 40 and 70. - 2/15/15

Dust problem escalates in Ahvaz, other Iranian cities

- The concentration of dust particles in Ahvaz air has reached its highest levels in recent days, forcing people to stay home and avoid the streets. Following school closures, 11 Khuzestan cities have now closed all government offices as well. - 2/10/15

Iran's wetlands: A smile amid grief

- "About 10 years ago things were very different," says Hassan a resident of the Hamouns situated in Iran's southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan. "Boats were bobbing in the water," he continued, "fishermen were making their daily catches. As far as the eye could see, there was water and greenery. The Hamouns were alive." -Gary Lewis - 2/4/15

Photos: Ahvaz air pollution gets worse beyond measure

- Air pollution in Ahvaz has grown five times worse since Tuesday's air quality registers led to school closures, forcing them remain shut. Hospital emergency rooms have reported an unprecedented rise in the number of patients arriving with respiratory problems, while the head of the Khuzestan Department of the Environment reported that they are no longer able to gauge the level of dust particles in the air, because the measurement has gone beyond the range of their equipment. - 1/31/15

Photos: Ahvaz's severe pollution a hot topic on social media

- The severe pollution in Ahvaz, Iran is currently a hot subject on the social media. Ahvazi people are venting their frustration and concerns through public posts or private messages often with a satirical tone. One such message reads: "Hello, can you tell me the date and the year for today, since when I woke up there was 8 inches of dust covering me. It is my right to know how long I've been sleep." - 1/31/15

Anger in Ahvaz over government inaction on dust pollution

- Ahvaz residents took to the streets on Friday January 30 to protest the lack of any effective government action to combat the previous day's dust storm, which pushed the concentration of air particles to more than 66 times the acceptable level. - 1/31/15

Photos: Saving an injured Goshawk

- Environmental guards were able to rescue and treat a goshawk which had been wounded in the Shahroud region of Iran's Semnan Province. Goshawk is a medium-large bird of prey which inhabits the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. -Mansoureh Ghalichi - 1/30/15

Cities' waste worsens pollution in Anzali Lagoon

- Industrial and residential waste and sewage from six cities has critically increased water pollution in the Anzali Lagoon in northern Iran. The Anzali Lagoon is registered as an endangered lagoon, and in 2010, Iran began a project in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to save it. - 1/30/15

Photos: Airborne dust forces flight cancellations in Khuzestan, Iran

- Flights from Abadan and Ahvaz in southwestern Iran have been cancelled due to poor visibility caused by increased dust in the air. The Tasnim News Agency reports that the head of the Khuzestan Meteorology office said: "Rainfall has declined by 30 percent compared to last year and this is one of the main reasons for dry soil all across the province and the increase in airborne dust particles." - 1/28/15

Controversy swirls around tourists hunting rare birds in Iran

- Iran's Department of the Environment denies having issued any hunting permits for rare birds to tourists from Arab countries. Ahmad Ali Keykha, the department deputy head, said on Monday January 26 that the organization has never issued any permits for foreign nationals to hunt rare birds in Iran. - 1/27/15

Photos: Iran's Nature Cleaners

- The 46th provincial program of Iran's Nature Cleaners took place in Toushan Village in Gorgan, with the participation of over 60 eco-friendly citizens. The organization comprises people who volunteer to clean up rubbish discarded in nature. -Mohammad Cheraghali - 1/25/15

Female Asiatic Cheetah, 3 Cubs Sighted In Turan National Park

- Head of Khar Turan National Park in Shahrud has announced the sighting of four new Asiatic Cheetahs, including a female and her three cubs. Ali Akbar Ghorbanlou told Mehr News that the frequent sightings of Asiatic cheetahs have considerably raised the hopes among environment and wildlife lovers. - 1/24/15

Iran asks UN for help with increasingly arid climate

- The head of Iran's Department of the Environment says forecasts indicate that dry weather and a lack of precipitation in Iran will increase eleven fold by 2050. - 1/21/15

Photos: People in Varzaneh Pray For Rain

- When all else fails, turn to God -- The people of the farming town of Varzaneh gathered on Friday January 16 to pray for rain. Like other countries in the region, Iran has been dealing with severe drought and water shortages in the last few years. Many farmers have lost their jobs or are on the verge of doing so. -- Will God hear the people of Varzaneh? -Hamidreza Dastjerdi - 1/20/15

First Iranian-made electric car "Sabrina" unveiled

- Iranian carmaker Diyar Khodro has launched trial production of the electric car, which is projected to be produced in large scale in the next Iranian calendar year, starting on March 21, the Fars news agency reported. The car can travel more than 250 kilometers per charge. - 1/20/15

Iran's Clean Air Day: Ebtekar vows no leniency for polluting industries

- The Department of Environment spares no leniency for polluting industries, the department's chief Masoumeh Ebtekar said on Sunday. Addressing a gathering on the occasion of the "Clean Air Day" in Tehran on Sunday, Ebtekar also admitted that the metropolis of Tehran is still grappling with heavy air pollution. - 1/19/15

Rare brown bear killed in road accident in Iran

- A brown bear died on Friday January 2 after a road accident occurred between Ardebil and Parsabad in northwestern Iran. ISNA reports that the news was confirmed by the head of the Ardebil Department of the Environment, who said that despite the efforts of rangers, the rare animal died some hours after the collision due to the severity of its injuries. - 1/6/15

Two Endangered Persian Leopards Die Within 10 Days

- In less than ten days, two dead leopards have been found in east and west of Golestan province. The leopards are believed by Department of Environment experts to having died of hunger; they further speculate that the motorway crossing the national park would also play a role in the deadly incident. - 1/1/15

Air Pollution In Tehran Sends Hundreds To Hospitals

- Severe air pollution in Iran's capital, Tehran, has put nearly 400 people in hospitals with heart and respiratory problems. Hassan Abbas, a Tehran emergency services official, said on December 30 that the city's dirty air had caused another 1,434 people to be treated in their homes for similar problems. - 12/31/14

Photos: Iranian two-seat electric vehicle unveiled

- A two-seater electric vehicle built by a group of students and professors in Qazvin Islamic Azad University was unveiled in Azad University of Tehran. The newly-unveiled plug-in car has a width of 120cm and its length is 2m, which can reduce parking problems on the streets of Tehran. Moreover, The car does not produce any pollution. - 12/30/14

Photos: Wildlife of Iran's Golestan National Park

- Golestan National Park is situated in Golestan Province between the eastern parts of the Alburs Mountains and the western fringes of the Khorasan-Kopet Dag. It comprises 91,890 ha. The Park reaches from 1000 to 1400 m above sea level and has a variety of habitats -Aboutaleb Nadri - 12/23/14

Iranian hunter sentenced for killing panther, illegal rifle

- A poacher has been sentenced to 42 months in jail for hunting an Iranian panther in northern Iran, the head of Environment and Wildlife Watch of Iran told the Mehr News Agency. - 12/22/14

For Leopards in Iran and Iraq, Land Mines Are a Surprising Refuge

- Land mines keep people out of the Persian leopard's last habitats, creating a conundrum -- removing the hazards leaves the cats more vulnerable. -Peter Schwartzstein, National Geographic - 12/19/14

Project Pressure captures Iran's melting glaciers

- Project Pressure has created the first open source glacier archive, recording the environmental impact of climate change by documenting the world's changing glaciers. Some of the most endangered glaciers on the planet are in Iran. The rugged mountains of Iran have shaped both the political and the economic history of the country, forming distinct valley communities that remained largely isolated until major roads were built in the 20th Century. -Laurie Balbo, Green Prophet - 12/18/14

5.2-mangnitude earthquake shakes Behbahan in southwestern Iran

- An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.2 on the Richter scale hit the city of Behbahan in Khuzestan province on Saturday morning. - 12/14/14

Another Asiatic cheetah sighted in Yazd

- Director of Iranian Cheetah Society has announced the sighting and registering of another new Asiatic Cheetah in Yazd Province. Morteza Eslami told Mehr News that a number of camera traps had been placed in each of the cheetah habitats in Iran for an overall observation of the target species. - 12/13/14

Issues with Domestic Gasoline? The Battle Over Gasoline Rages On in Iran

- The worsening of the air pollution situation in Tehran has resurfaced the in-fighting among Iran's political factions over gasoline. Tasnim news agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, recently published a special report on imported gasoline and asserted that in fact it is the cause of the deteriorating air condition in Tehran. - 11/25/14

Severe air pollution triggers emergency response in Tehran

- Tehran has announced that due to the decline in air quality, emergency services will be available in various locations around the capital to attend to citizens as needed starting Monday November 17. - 11/18/14

Several Iranian provinces punished by heavy rain, snowstorms

- Heavy rain and snow has hit 11 provinces in Iran, and in some areas roads have been closed due to blizzards. Alborz, Khuzestan, Chahar Mahal Bakhriyari, Khorazan Razavi, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Gilan and eastern parts of Tehran are among the provinces dealing with heavy precipitation. - 11/6/14

Iran approves big budget to save drying lake Urmia

- Iran's administration approved on Sunday November 3 the plans developed by the task force to save the rapidly drying Lake Urmia, including a budget of about 7.3 trillion rials (about $225 million). - 11/4/14

Omid, the Last Siberian crane, returns to Iran

- SARI, Nov. 02 - An environmental activist has announced that the last Siberian crane has returned to Iran for the seventh consecutive year. Narges Rouhani, an environmental activist, pointed to the return of the last Siberian crane to Iran and said, "this crane which is called Omid (Persian for 'hope') landed at Fereydunkenar wetland on Saturday at 7:30 AM. He is currently resting and feeding there." - 11/3/14

Cage fish farming in Caspian, catastrophic or beneficial?

- While some lecturers describe implementation of the plan for farming rainbow trout in cage in the Caspian Sea unprincipled and catastrophic for the environment, executive officials believe the plan is beneficial in creating job opportunities. - 10/27/14

Quake jolts Murmuri in Western Iran

- A strong quake measuring 5.6 on Richter scale hit Murmuri suburbs of Abdanan City, Ilam province, Wednesday evening, leaving 19 wounded. - 10/16/14

Iran's metros will lead to petrol consumption drop of 680m liters: Official

- The development of the metro systems of Iran's major cities is expected to increase the number of journeys from 880 million to 2.8 billion per year in the next 10 years, according to Iranian Fuel Conservation Company Managing Director Mohammad Mehdi Rahmati. - 10/15/14

Iranian protesters question safety of nuclear plant project

- A number of residents in the area surrounding the Bushehr Nuclear Plant in Khuzestan Province staged a protest against the latest project being implemented in the plant and the lack of adequate concern about the environmental impact of the plant's activities. - 10/11/14

New group pushes water conservation in Iran

- The newly established organizan Neday-e Iranian has launched a "Water is Life" campaign to address Iran's water shortage crisis. The campaign, which lists its goals as optimized water use and the acculturation of Iranians to water conservation, began its activities by releasing a public awareness poster on Wednesday October 8. - 10/9/14

Iranian documentary 'Banooye Urmia' awarded in Finland fest

- An Iranian documentary, Banooye Urmia, (Lady Urmia) won jury award of Finland Environmental Film Festival held in Vaasa City. The film directed by Mohammad Ehsani was shown in the 7th edition of the event on October 1-5 in Vaasa. The film is a poetic documentary about Lake Urmia, in the Iranian Azerbaijan, which is drying up completely. - 10/8/14

Release of untreated sewage called a "catastrophe": Iran's DOE Chief

- Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of Iran's Department of the Environment, has announced serious concern over the release of untreated city and town sewage into rivers in some parts of the country, referring to it as an environmental catastrophe. - 10/7/14

Water Shortage Arrives In Tehran: Khamenei Authorizes Use of 10 Billion Dollars

- Following reports of heightened shortage of water in Iran in recent months, a newly released report indicates that in addition to the 13 large cities that now have a water crisis at their hands, two major dams, Lar and Latian to east of and close to Tehran, have dried up compounding the problem. - 9/22/14

Iranian Cabinet Appeals For Cut In Water Consumption

- The Iranian cabinet has expressed concern regarding the country's water shortage and made a serious appeal to the public to reduce water consumption, especially in the capital of Tehran. While the water shortage has been an ongoing problem, a severe decline in precipitation this year has made things worse, with two major dams running dry. - 9/19/14

Photos: Fire Engulfs Ashuradeh, The Sole Iranian Island In Caspian Sea

- Ashuradeh, the only Iranian island in Caspian Sea, has suffered great damage after it was engulfed by a devastating fire on Tuesday. About 100 hectares of grasslands and woods on the island were burned in the fire. - 9/17/14

Iran to scrap 400,000 cars to ease pollution

- The Iranian government has announced plans to take up to 400,000 vehicles that don't meet emission standards off the roads by the end of the current Iranian calendar year, in a bid to reduce the country's air pollution problems. - 9/16/14

Iran: Water supply reduced for agriculture sector

- Iran's Ministry of Agriculture has announced that beginning in October of this year, the water allotted to agricultural developments will be reduced by almost 50 percent in accordance with a proposal by the Department of Environment. ISNA reports that according to top ministry official Mohammad Hossein Shariatmadar, the plan is meant to counter the country's critical water shortage. - 9/7/14

Quake Hits City Of Shiraz In Southern Iran

- An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale hit the city of Shiraz in Fars province, southern Iran, on Friday morning. The Seismological center of Fars province affiliated to the Geophysics Institute of Tehran University registered the quake at 04:21 hours local time. - 9/5/14

Desert forms around Iran's large, drying Lake Urmia

- About 300 hectares of new desert has formed around Lake Urmia as a result of the lake's rapid drying, and the resulting salt storms have become a serious threat to people living in the region. Forestry authorities say at least 10 percent of these deserts must be immediately replenished. - 9/4/14

Former Iranian Oil Minister Summoned Over "Unhealthy Gasoline"

- Massoud MirKazemi, who was oil minister from 2009 to 2011, is being accused of "acting against public health and well-being." The report indicates that representatives from the Ministry of Health and the Department of the Environment have been enlisted to investigate the charge. - 9/2/14

Who is failing Iran's forests, Environment Department or Parliament?

- This spring flames of fire soared higher than ever in the forests and rangeland of Iran. Golestan National Park caught fire a number of times burning down or severely damaging over 1000 hectares of the trees. The situation begs the question who is responsible for putting out and preventing these raging flames? - 8/31/14

Iranian poacher selling leopard skin gets tough sentence

- A poacher in Northern Khorasan, who was arrested while selling leopard skin, has been sentenced to three years in jail. IRNA reports that the leopard was hunted down last winter in a protected area. - 8/30/14

Another rare deer killed under protection in Lorestan, Iran

- An unknown assailant has shot and killed a rare yellow deer being kept in the Khoramabad Zoo. The head of Iran's Environment and Wildlife Watch reported on August 24 that the deer died from a shot to its shoulder despite efforts by zoo officials to save it. - 8/26/14

Why UNESCO recognition eludes Iran's Mount Damavand

- Iranian nature lovers must delay their hopes of having Mount Damavand, one of the country's most distinctive features, recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The head of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization says the registration of Mount Damavand on the Natural and Cultural World Heritage list will not be possible unless several government bodies collaborate on the project. - 8/25/14

Wind Storm kills five in Khuzestan, Iran

- Severe winds in Khuzestan Province in southwestern Iran have killed five and injured 35. The head of Provincial Crisis Management reported to IRNA on Thursday August 21 that one person in Andimeshk, one in Baghmalek and three more in Dezfool were killed under toppled walls and trees or by falling from heights. - 8/22/14

Strong Quake Hits Western Iran, 250 Injured

- The number of people wounded in the 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Abdanan, in this western province, Monday morning has risen to 250, latest reports said. The strong tremor hit three western and southwestern provinces of Ilam, Lorestan and Khuzestan at 07:02 hours local time (0232 GMT) and was also felt in the neighboring provinces. - 8/18/14

Vital Tehran dams on the verge of running dry

- Tehran Province's waterworks department reports that most important dams in the province will run out of water in 37 days. At least 12 large cities in the country are faced with serious water shortages, which means 23 million people will have to face the consequences. - 8/17/14

Photos: Abandoned Leopard Cubs

- Two leopard cubs are being fed and taken care of by the personnel at the environmental office of the Golestan province in the city of Kordkoy in northern Iran. The playful cubs were abandoned outside that office a few days ago by unidentified people. - 8/9/14

A Pipeline From A Land Of Water To A Land Of Oil

- Iran is looking for more water and some Iranian officials believe the place to get it is from Tajikistan. The problem is how to get the water from Tajikistan's mountains to Iran, several hundred kilometers away. -RFE - 8/9/14

Spreading Decline of Zagros Oak Forests in Iran

- Decline and destruction of Zagros oak forests has been accelerating at a rapid pace in the past five years and despite many warnings, no solution has been so far implemented to protect these highly valuable natural resources. While numerous meetings and seminars at taking place on this issue, an unknown pestilence is progreesively drying out the entire oak forests of Zagros. - 7/31/14

Iran Forest Fires Up By 40 Percent

- The head of Iran's Forest Protection Unit says the incidence of forest fires rose by an unprecedented 40 percent in the past year due to "excessive heat and droughts." - 7/26/14

Iranian Satellite Jamming Causes Storm Of Controversy

- The Iranian regime has long used signal jamming to disrupt the flow of information into the Islamic republic, but it couldn't have forecast the strategy's deadly consequences. Satellite-jamming technology is being blamed for disrupting Iran's ability to predict a major dust storm that hit Tehran in June, killing five people. - 7/24/14

Iranian Minister Announces Reversal Of Water-Rationing Plan

- Iran's Minister of Power has announced that the plan to ration water in Tehran and other large cities throughout the country has been dropped. Earlier, the Iran Water and Sewage Company had announced that water must be rationed across the country, saying 517 cities are now facing a water crisis. - 7/13/14

Suspicious forest fires in Iran give poachers cover

- A number of suspicious fires have burned hundreds of acres of Iran's Golestan National Park in recent days. The last of these incidents occurred on Tuesday July 8 and affected more than 400 acres of Golestan National Park's forests. - 7/11/14

Iran's Khar Turan 2nd largest biosphere reserve in world

- The national park of Khar Turan, located southeast of the Iranian city of Shahrud, is believed to be the second largest biosphere reserve in the world. Khar Turan national park, with an area of around 1.5 million hectares, is the world's second largest biosphere reserve after Africa's Serengeti, says the park's Chief Ranger Ali Akbar Ghorbanloo. - 7/8/14

Urmia Lake Restoration Committee announces 10-year restoration plan

- The committee has prepared a 10-year plan to restore the Lake Urmia. Davoud Reza Arab, who was speaking in the 2nd press conference of the ULRC today, told the press that the committee had prepared a 9-year plan to restore the lake, with 2023 being the year when the lake would have been completely restored. - 7/6/14

Mining in southern Tehran adds to pollution in capital

- The over-exploitation of construction material mines in southern Tehran has become a source of dust particles, adding to air pollution problems in the Iranian capital. - 7/5/14

Iran: Kazeroon Forest Fire Still Out Of Control

- One hundred hectares of meadow and forest in Kazeroon in Fars Province have burnt down in a fire that started on Tuesday July 1. IRNA reports that the fire started on Tuesday and, according to Natural Resources officials in the province, high winds on Wednesday spread the fires further, complicating the task of extinguishing them. - 7/4/14

U.S. company to invest over $1.1B in Iranian waste-to-energy project

- The U.S. company World Eco Energy plans to invest $1.175 billion in a project in Iran's southwestern province of Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari to generate electricity from solid waste. Local companies will invest the same amount of money in the project. - 7/3/14

Iran's water crisis the product of decades of bad planning

- Iran is headed for a water shortage of epic proportions, and little is being done to reverse a decades-long trend that has reduced the country's water supply to crisis levels. -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post - 7/2/14

Government ready to spend as much as necessary to save Lake Urmia: President Rouhani

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has told the Working Committee to Save Lake Urmia to carry out comprehensive studies to facilitate the speedy implementation of its task and to reduce any negative consequences that may arise in the process of the work. - 6/30/14

Iran's Eastern Azerbaijan province responds to critical shortages

- The governor of Eastern Azerbaijan announced on Saturday night that the province's water and power supply are in a critical state, and until the situation returns to normal, the provincial Crisis Management Base will take over the administration of affairs. - 6/29/14

Iran: Water shortage forces rationing in Karaj

- Following the announcement of water shortages in 12 large Iranian cities, water rationing has begun in Karaj. Officials in Alborz Province have announced that with the start of the warm season and a rise in water consumption, they have had to shut off the water supply or reduce pressure in some areas of Karaj. - 6/26/14

Pollution puts Anzali Lagoon on blacklist

- Anzali Lagoon in northern Iran is now on the Ramsar Environmental Blacklist due to the increase in the amount of industrial, agricultural and household waste present in the body of water, says the Gilan Department of the Environment. - 6/17/14

Drying Iranian lake gets some water but funds are short

- Iran's Minister of Power announced on Sunday that his ministry has already begun the process of transferring water to rapidly drying Lake Oroumiyeh but he added that the government faces a shortage of funds in this regard. - 6/16/14

Iranian city of Zabol shrouded in darkness by sandstorm

- A sandstorm covered the city of Zabol in southeastern Iran in darkness on Saturday June 15 with winds reaching 45 kilometres per hour and heavily restricting visibility. ILNA reports that on Saturday, it was as if the sun did not rise on Zabol, as the city was shrouded in dust and particles throughout the day. - 6/15/14
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