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April 19 2014
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Persepolis: Re-Discovering the Ancient Persian Capital of Modern Day Iran


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Iranian bird poacher's sentence is to study environment

- The head of the Fars Province Department of Environmental Protection reports that an illegal hunter who was caught hunting birds in the Parishan Wetlands of Kazeroon was ordered to prepare a research study about the environment of the region instead of being sent to jail. - 4/17/14

Environmental Awareness: Iranian students to draw the Asiatic cheetah

- Avicenna cultural center, Tehran Municipality, Ministry of Education local office Tehran and some NGOs will take part in the painting festival entitled "Asiatic cheetah, God's painting" and all elementary school students of Tehran will participate. - 4/16/14

Water shortages threaten Tehran, other cities

- Iran's Ministry of Power reports that Tehran is on the verge of a water shortage, saying: "Arak, Isfahan, Shiraz, Qazvin, Qom, Karaj, Kerman, Mashhad, Hamedan and Yazd are other cities that are now water-stressed." - 4/13/14

Poachers caught, punished for killing rare deer

- Five deer in the Dasht-e Qanat region of Bordsir in Kerman province were killed by poachers this spring. ISNA reports that a spokesman for the city's Department of the Environment said their rangers pursued the poachers and arrested one of them, who identified the other two, allowing their capture as well. - 4/12/14

Farmer hangs 6 foxes as scare tactic

- A farmer in the town of Sarbaz in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan province in a ruthless act hanged 6 foxes. According to local sources, the farmer's intention was to scare other foxes and discourage them from attacking his chickens. - 4/9/14

Iranian Environmental Official Highlights Biggest Threat

- The head of Iran's Department of Environmental Protection, who has travelled to Japan to establish an environmental partnership between the two countries, says Iran's biggest environmental challenge is the decline in water resources. - 4/8/14

Iranian Parliament Website Declares Critical State Of Wetlands

- The report goes on to add that anywhere from 20 to 80 percent of Iran's 40 wetlands, have been dried out, and it names "industrial and residential development, power generation and unsustainable exploitation as top causes of their destruction." - 4/7/14

Iran's Water Crisis Threatens its Future

- A looming water crisis in Iran has officials warning of water rationing for the capital Tehran. The Mehr news agency quotes Khosro Erteghaei, the head of Tehran's regional water company as saying water levels at the four reservoirs that serve Tehran are at a critical level. He warns that if residents of Tehran and nearby provinces do not reduce their consumption "we will have a problem." -Maryam Manzoori, VOA - 4/6/14

Photos: Nakhcheer cave

- Nakhcheer or Chal-Nakhjir is a cave situated in Markazi Province of Iran. It is a limestone cave approximately 70 million years old. Parts of the cave including its internal lake have been prepared for easy tourist access. It was discovered in 1989 and registered as a national monument in 2001. Its interior is made of crystals, dolomite sediments,stalactites and stalagmites. - 4/4/14

Iran, Japan to expand cooperation in environment protection

- Head of Iranˈs Environment Protection Organization Masoumeh Ebtekar conferred on Thursday with Japanese minister of environment protection on expansion of cooperation between the two countries. - 4/4/14

Photos: Iranian celebrate Sizdah Bedar by spending time in nature

- People across Iran celebrated Sizdah-Bedar, the traditional Persian festival of nature, on Wednesday by spending time outdoor. Sizdah-Bedar, an ancient Iranian nature festival, is held on the 13th of Farvardin (first month in Iranian calendar) and marks the end of the Persian New Year (Norouz) celebrations. - 4/2/14

Thousands of Iranian travellers caught in snowstorms

- A new wave of cold and snow in various regions of Iran has stranded thousands of Norooz travellers on the road, and in one instance two people were killed due to landslides. Nine provinces in the north and northeast of the country have seen a sudden drop in temperature along with heavy snowfalls. - 4/2/14

Photos: Mother Winter wrestles with Amoo Norouz in Tabriz!

- On the 11th day of spring and Iranian New Year (Norouz), the city of Tabriz in East Azerbaijan province of Iran was caught offguard by a snowfall and had to wear white again! The Norouz decorations around the city were also given a white coat to remind the people that the Naneh Sarma (Mother Winter) wasn't quite ready to give up her rein to Amoo Norouz (Uncle Norouz) yet! - 4/1/14

Iranian School Curricula to Incorporate Environmental Awareness

- Teaching environmental concepts to students has never been implemented in a systematic and nationwide form in Iran. In recent years some limited efforts have been made in a number of schools which have been projects undertaken by volunteers through initiatives of particular principles, parent councils or teachers. - 3/31/14

Photos: 'Earth Hour' observed in Tehran

- Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the last Saturday in March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. - 3/30/14

Iranian Environment Official Reveals Lake Oroumieh Drying At Severe Level

- Hassan Abbasnejad, the head of the Western Azerbaijan Province environment department, announced that the water levels in Lake Oroumieh have fallen by 40 percent. Iran's Lake Oroumieh (also spelled Urmia) is the largest lake in the Middle East and the third largest saltwater lake on Earth. - 3/29/14

"Subsidence of One Million Hectares of Land" in Iran

- One million hectares of natural areas and lands in Iran are plagued with subsidence due to the unregulated extraction of underground waters and the depletion of aquifers. Meanwhile, the rate of soil erosion poses a serious threat to the future of the country's environment and natural resources. - 3/17/14

Rising gasoline imports let Iran stop production of dirty fuel

- The National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company reports that Iran has tripled its gasoline imports. In the past three years, eight to 10 million litres of gasoline have been produced on a daily basis by petrochemical complexes in Iran, and according to experts, that has been extremely detrimental to air quality. - 3/6/14

Iran's Imperiled Environment

- The surge in population in the last four decades and the unpremeditated urge for rapid development, compounded by drought and sanctions, are responsible for a serious deterioration in Iran's fragile environment. Awareness of the precarious situation is beginning to sink in with attention focusing especially on the vital interrelated problem areas discussed below. -Bijan Rouhani and Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian - 3/5/14

74 Iranian wildlife species red-listed by Environment Department

- At least 74 species of Iranian wildlife are on the red list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a sign of serious threats against the country's biodiversity. The Iranian Department of Environment published a report in advance of World Wildlife Day on March 3, detailing the state of animal biodiversity in Iran. - 2/28/14

Iranian MPs slam environment chief for halting work on road

- Twenty-six Iranian MPs have issued a written warning to President Rohani to protest that the head of the Department of the Environment stopped construction of the proposed Shahrood- Aliabad Road. Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of the Department of the Environment, halted construction of this road as a protective measure for the Abr Forest, which the road was to traverse. - 2/27/14

Iran moves to stop use of dirty, substandard gasoline

- Iran's Oil Minister announced on Tuesday February 25 that the gasoline produced in petrochemical facilities is not up to standard and carries contaminants and will no longer be distributed in Tehran. - 2/26/14

Tehran's pollution problem leaves few days of clean air

- Tehran Governor Hossein Hashemi has announced Tehran has only had four days of clean air since last March. The governor announced that President Hassan Rohani has established a committee to address the chief problems facing Tehran, with air pollution and water and power shortages at top of their list. - 2/25/14

NENA Region Faces Fresh Water Scarcity

- Water scarcity will be at the top of the agenda next week when officials from the Near East and North Africa meet in Rome. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization warns the availability of fresh water in the region could drop by 50 percent by 2050. The NENA region includes Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria,Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. -Joe DeCapua, VOA - 2/22/14

Lack of rainfall leaves Iranian cities with little water

- Iran's power ministry has reported that the current year is "the worst year in terms of precipitation" and eight major Iranian cities will face serious water shortages as a result. - 2/16/14

Iran takes emergency measures to tackle unprecedented snowfall

- Emergency measures have been taken to resolve the problems that thousands of people are experiencing in northern parts of Iran as a result of the heaviest snowstorm in five decades, which has buried some areas under two meters of snow. - 2/5/14

Record snowfall plagues northern Iranian provinces

- Heavy snowfall has reportedly paralyzed the northern Iranian provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran, knocking out gas, power and water supplies. The Chaloos representative in Parliament reported today, February 3, that 145 townships in western Mazandaran are without water and power, and access to 10 cities has been cut off by snowfall in the region. - 2/4/14

Photos: Snowy City Festival in Boroujen

- The 7th Snow City Festival was held January 28-30 at the Choghakhor international pond close to the the town of Boroujen in the Iranian province of Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari. 179 people in 39 groups had registered for the competitions. Among the participating groups, 13 were from other provinces. These groups created many giant snow sculptures which decorated the landscape and captivated the visiting people. - 2/3/14

Cold weather brings hazards to Tehran parks, Iranian roads

- The head of Tehran's Department of the Environment has warned of cold weather and icy conditions presenting problems at animal sanctuaries in the capital. Hamid Rahati has warned that the sudden drop in temperature predicted for the coming week will demand special care at zoos and animal and bird parks across the city. - 2/3/14

Photos: Iran unveils World Cup kit featuring Iranian cheetah

- Iran national soccer teamˈs jersey with Asiatic Cheetah, known as Iranian Cheetah, logo was unveiled at a ceremony on Saturday. Officials from Department of Environment and Sports Ministry were present in the unveiling ceremony. The logo depicts the image of cheetah on the Iranian teamˈs jersey in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. - 2/2/14

Photos: Heavy Snow in Rasht, Northern Iran

- First snow of the winter season gave a white cover to the caspian coast city of Rasht in northern Iran on Saturday. Rasht is the capital of Gilan Province and the largest city on Iran's Caspian Sea coast - 2/2/14

Iran's environment chief receives Energy Globe award

- Iran's Vice President and Head of the Department of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar has won the Energy Globe Foundation award for her long-term efforts in the field of environment protection. During a Wednesday ceremony in the Iranian capital city of Tehran, Ebtekar received the 2014 edition of Energy Globe Honorary Award for a Lifetime Achievement, Mehr News Agency reported. - 1/31/14

International symposium on the state of Iran's environmental crisis presents chilling picture: Human security is under threat

- Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF) in partnership with the Persian Wildlife Foundation (PWF) and in association with the London Middle East Institute (SOAS), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Soudavar Memorial Foundation (SMF), I B Tauris Publishers and thePersian Wildlife Heritage Foundation convened a pioneering international symposium on the challenges facing Iran's natural heritage - 1/29/14

Iranian Arts Community Rallies Around Environmental Conference

- Iranian filmmaker Manijeh Hekmat has announced that on Saturday January 25, there will be a conference on environmental issues with participation from grassroots organizations, the Department of the Environment and other government officials. - 1/24/14

FIFA stops National Team from sporting Iranian Cheetah on World Cup shirts

- A campaign by environmental activists to raise awareness of the endangered Iranian Cheetah by putting its image on the shirts of Iran's national football team for the upcoming World Cup has been rejected by the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA). - 1/23/14

Photos: Swans arrive from Siberia in Sorkhroud, northern Iran

- In the recent years, during winter about 5000 swans migrate from Siberia to the wetlands of the Caspian town of Sorkhroud in northern Iran. The swans return back to Siberia after the the cold season ends. The swans bring life and beauty to the wetlands and attract many visitors. Environmental activists are also busy trying to educate the public to be a good host to their guests! - 1/20/14

Death of another Persian Leopard brings new committee

- Following the death of a twelfth Persian Leopard so far this year, the deputy head of Wildlife Protection for the Department of Environment announced that an emergency committee has been established to protect the panthers. - 1/19/14

Photos: Death of an Iranian Leopard

- A leopard that had suffered spinal cord injury due to shooting by hunters was put to sleep using euthanasia procedure and anesthetic injection. This heart-breaking incident happened in the Tonekabon region in northern Iran. - 1/14/14

Iran discontinues Caspian water transfer project

- Last April, Iran announced a plan to transfer water from the Caspian Sea to central regions of the country, with the goal of providing central provinces with water for industrial and agricultural usages. Iran's environment protection organization official Abdolreza Karbasi sad in October 2013 that transferring water from the Caspian Sea to the central desert of Iran will lead to an ecological disaster. - 1/13/14

Revival of Lake Urmia will take 10 to 15 years: Iranian Energy Minister

- Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said on Wednesday that a revival of the Lake Urmia will take 10 to 15 years and cautioned that any politically motivated promise that the lake will be restored in a short time will be "treason against the Lake Urmia and the people." - 1/9/14

Snow, cold temperature hit across much of Iran

- The Iran Meteorological Organization reported on Thursday January 2 that starting Friday, 24 provinces will be seeing temperatures below 0 degree C. Meanwhile, the Red Crescent and rescue operations report that in the past two days they have rescued more than 4,000 people in 14 provinces caught in snowy regions. - 1/4/14

PHOTOS: One dead, dozens hurt as quake hits Hormuzgan province of Iran

- At least one was killed and dozens were wounded in the 5.5-magnitude earthquake which jolted the town of Bastak in Hormuzgan province, Southern Iran, on Thursday. A large number of residential units have been damaged and panic-stricken people have left their homes and stay outdoor. - 1/2/14

Tehran governor-general urges import of Euro 4 petrol

- Tehran Governor- General Hossein Hashemi on Wednesday called for import of petrol to meet Euro 4 standard until self-sufficiency in production of high quality gasoline. Hashemi said low quality of the gasoline being consumed in Iran is the prime reason of air pollution in Iranian metropolitans. - 1/2/14

Photos: First Snow Of The Season In Tehran

- The first snow of the winter season gave a white cover to Tehran on Wednesday and brought a much needed relief from the recent high levels of air pollution. Some residents took to the heights in northern Tehran to take advantage of the fresh powder and air. -Hemmat Khahi - 1/1/14

Photos: Rescue of an Iranian Leopard

- A leopard that had been trapped in the crevices of the rocks by the river of Sezar in Sepiddasht region of the city of Khorramabad in western Iran was rescued by the environmental protection officials in an operation that lasted several hours. The injured leopard was treated and cared for before being released back to the wild. - 12/30/13

Iran: Drying wetlands in 40 regions contributing to air pollution

- The head of biodiversity for the Department of the Environment reports that 40 wetland areas in Iran have partially or completely dried out. IRNA reports that in 40 regions, the wetlands have dried out anywhere from 20 to 100 percent, and the main cause is the lack of effective management of water resources. - 12/30/13

Artists urge Iranians to donate benefits to fight pollution

- A group of Iranian artists is urging compatriots to begin donating their monthly government benefits to find solutions for the country's worsening environmental problems. - 12/28/13

Iranian-made gasoline seen as pollution factor

- Iran's Department of the Environment says air pollution in the country and particularly in Tehran has reached critical levels and it called for "standard gasoline" to be imported. - 12/27/13

Pollution forces school closures, class cancellations in Tehran

- The Tehran Air Pollution Committee announced on Monday night that all elementary schools, kindergartens and daycares in Tehran and Shar-e Rey will be closed due to the extreme decline in air quality. - 12/25/13

Leopards pushed closer to extinction in Iran

- Iran's Department of the Environment reports that 46 leopards were killed in the past six years in Iran. IRNA reports that the deputy head of Wildlife Protection said: "The leopard and its habitat are at risk of extinction." - 12/22/13

Environment official notes Iran's dismal performance

- The head of Iran's Department of the Environment says Iran has fallen 63 spots in the Environmental Performance Index in recent years. - 12/19/13

Photos: Snow in Ardabil

- Ardabil is about 70 km (43 mi) from the Caspian Sea, and 210 km from the city of Tabriz. It has an average altitude of 1,263 metres (4,144 ft) - 12/16/13

President Rohani Calls For Action On Iranian Air Pollution

- ISNA reports that on Wednesday December 4, Rohani called on the Department of the Environment, the presidential Deputy for Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health to find new and innovative ways of working together to reduce air pollution. - 12/6/13

Four Iranian cities rank among world's 10 most polluted

- The latest ranking by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) shows four Iranian cities are among the most polluted in the world: Ahvaz, Sanandaj, Kermanshah and Yasooj. - 12/4/13

Photos: 11-Kilometer Multi-Floor Highway Opens In Tehran

- Tehran's first multi-floor highway has been totally designed and constructed by Iranian engineers. "The highway with 11 Km length and in west-east direction could be crucial in decreasing the air pollution in Tehran," said Hojjatuleslam Abdolmoghim Nasehi. - 11/30/13

Photos: Earthquake kills at least eight in southwestern Iran

- An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale shook Berazjan in the southwestern Iranian province of Bushehr on Thursday at 5 PM local time. The head of Iran's National Crisis Management Organization, Hassan Ghadami, announced that the latest reports indicate eight people have lost their lives as a result of this earthquake. - 11/29/13

Tehran told to shut down offices, schools due to pollution

- The environment branch of Iran's ministry of health wants offices, schools and colleges in Tehran to be shut down due to heavy air pollution. Ministry officials report that Tehran's air quality has been deteriorating at an alarming rate, and in three letters to the Tehran governor, they have called for the implementation of legal measures to prevent air pollution. - 11/28/13

Iranian City of Mashhad sees significant increase in days of severe pollution

- The number of days of high pollution in Mashhad over the past eight months has increased by close to 20 percent compared to the same period last year. - 11/26/13

Western Iran town hit by two strong earthquakes

- At least two strong earthquakes have jolted the border town of Qasr-e Shirin in Iran's western province of Kermanshah, but no casualties have yet been reported. According to the University of Tehran Institute of Geophysics, the strongest quake, which took place on Sunday, measured 5.7 on the Richter scale. - 11/25/13

Stimulant in rainfall sends hundreds to hospital in Ahvaz, Iran

- Ahvaz health officials say 1,500 people ended up in emergency rooms last night due to respiratory problems brought on by rain. The Mehr News Agency reports that officials claim the presence of a stimulant in the rain water has been causing the widespread shortness of breath. - 11/20/13

Experts put dramatic figure on Lake Oroumiyeh's depletion

- All but 15 percent of Lake Orumieh, Iran's largest inland lake, has disappeared, environmental experts say. Hassan Abbasnejad, the head of the Western Azerbaijan Province Department of the Environment, said: "Only six percent of the southern part of the lake currently remains and in total 85 percent of the lake area has been lost." - 11/19/13

Pollution problems in Iran set to intensify on Monday

- Tehran and several other industrial cities will face a severe decline in air quality beginning on Monday, according to Iranian meteorological reports. Each year from the end of fall until the beginning of winter, Tehran and other industrial centres endure severe air pollution. - 11/17/13

Iranian environmental activists win fight to halt road in Abr Forest

- Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of Iran's Department of the Environment, announced that construction has been halted on a controversial road in Abr Forest in Shahrood, and a plan to protect the forest is underway. - 11/14/13

FIFA chief green-lights Iranian cheetah logo for Iran team jersey

- Wrapping up a two-day visit to Tehran, Blatter promised to support a national plan aimed at fighting extinction of Iranian cheetah in form of designing a logo to depict the image of the cheetah on national football team's jersey in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. - 11/9/13

Iran: Thousands go to Khuzestan hospitals after "acid rain"

- Following a rainy day in various parts of Khuzestan Province on Saturday November 2, many people went to hospitals with serious bouts of choking and shortness of breath. ISNA reports that 3,100 people reported serious respiratory symptoms in Khuzestan following the weekend rainfall. - 11/5/13

Ahwaz citizens form third chain to protest river diversion

- Protesters formed a human chain on the banks of the Karoon River on Friday, November 1, in their third such demonstration against the transfer of water from the river. Dubbed the "chain of silence", it's the third such protest against government plans to redirect waters from the Karoon. - 11/4/13

Tehran air quality critical for one third of last year

- The head of the Tehran Department of the Environment has announced that the city's daily air quality was at critical levels due to suspended particles for one third of last year. Meanwhile, health ministry officials say more than 2,000 people die each year in Tehran due to air pollution. - 10/31/13

Water may have to be rationed in Tehran: Energy Minister

- Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian has asked Tehran citizens to reduce their water consumption by about 20 percent, saying if they do not do so, the Energy Ministry will be forced to introduce water rationing in the capital. - 10/31/13

Iran must draw up a national plan for water conservation: President Rohani

- At a meeting of Iran's High Council for Water on Tuesday, President Hassan Rohani stated that a national plan for the conservation and efficient use of water must be drawn up. Tap water in the large cities of Mashhad and Isfahan, the quality of water of the Karoun River, and the issue of the Gotvand Dam in Khuzestan Province were some of the issues discussed at the meeting. - 10/30/13

From Caspian Sea to Arctic to Middle East, How Oil Pipelines Threaten Democracy & Planet's Survival

- Today we spend the hour looking at politics, money and the pursuit of oil, focusing on what's known as the Oil Road, a series of pipelines stretching from the oil-rich Caspian Sea to Europe. Key nations along the route include Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The oil giant BP operates the main pipeline. -Democracy Now - 10/27/13

Photos: The Last Day of Month of Mehr in Tehran

- Tuesday October 22nd was the last day of Iranian month of Mehr. These photos show the residents of the capital city Tehran grappling with traffic and dangerously high levels of pollution on this day. They also show a city covered in tick smug longing for brighter days... - 10/25/13

Iran's environmental chief says "illegal" satellite towers coming down

- The head of Iran's Department of the Environment has announced that all "illegal" satellite reception towers designed to interfere with signals will be dismantled. - 10/21/13

EPO plans to launch environmentally friendly movement in Iran

- The director of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization says the organization under her portfolio plans to establish an environmentally friendly city and village council movement across the country. - 10/20/13

Iran Asks Afghanistan For More Water

- An Iranian lawmaker is calling on Afghanistan to release more water to save a regional lake. Iran's Tasnim news agency quoted Deputy Kamaleddin Pirmoazzen Saturday as saying Hamun Lake in the southeastern part of the country is drying up rapidly due to lack of water Afghanistan has pledged to provide. - 10/14/13

Tree-cutting blamed for soil erosion, decimation of fish in Caspian Sea

- A top environmental expert says 90 percent of the fish in the Caspian Sea have been destroyed. The Bahar daily reports that Hooshang Ziyayi said: "Due to deforestation in the Caspian Sea region and soil erosion, many of the rivers where fish from Caspian Sea would spawn have dried out or become so polluted that millions of fish are now being lost each year." - 10/8/13
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