- Published: Thursday, 07 November 2019
Ahmad Reza Lahijanzadeh, the Marine Environment and Wetlands deputy director of Iran’s Department of Environment, explained that more of the damage done to the environment was the result of “development programs” implemented since 1994.
He told a meeting in Hormozagan: “If one investigates the destruction of the marine environment from northern Iran and the Caspian Sea, the gradual and steady disappearance of the coastline is evident in both Mazandaran and Gilan provinces, to the extent that one cannot even find 100 meters off the shore area.”
During this meeting, he also said that Iran could soon see the “devastating destruction of the Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests in Alborz” and that Iran’s aquifers might even dry out, especially in areas like Semnan and Fars, because of the reduction of groundwater and that in some areas this has become “irreversible”.
Lahijanzadeh described Khuzestan province, as a symbol of the country’s unstable development, because, even though it had enough water sources, fertile soil, and oil and gas reserves to sustain the whole country, it has been destroyed by mismanagement and corruption.
Elsewhere, he highlighted that the petrochemical industry has ruined the fishing industry in Mahshahr, citing that it “reduced the city’s fishing capacity to about 900 tons”, sacrificing a long-term benefit for a short-lived profit.
Lahijanzadeh then spoke about “Iran’s most polluted city”, Asaluyeh, which is the most polluted area in the region and is seeing the widespread slaughter of aquatic life and reduced environmental diversity.
It is no coincidence that Asaluyeh is thought to contain one of the largest oil, gas, and petrochemical projects in Iran. These plants are built with a lack of attention to environmental standards, something environmentalists have repeatedly warned the government about, and cause great damage to the people and the environment there. More worrying still is the concentration of heavy industrial activities in the surrounding province and lack of wastewater treatment facilities that endanger the Persian Gulf.
In July, the Iran regime’s Supreme Council for Environmental Protection held a meeting after warnings about the critical state of the environment and the disregard of this by regime officials, but the government resolved that they were not accountable for serious environmental damages in Iran, which begs the question; who is?