As always, the Iran lobby – the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) – is working overtime to influence views on the environmental situation. It has just published an editorial entitled “Skip the War, Save the Environment” and it has (as usual) made some ridiculous claims.

Let’s look at the crux of the situation – Iran was once an ecological paradise but it is rapidly turning into the opposite. This turn of events has been provoked by the Iranian government – both due to its neglect and to its harmful practices.

Arvin Hariri wrote in his NIAC editorial that Barack Obama’s economic sanctions almost a decade ago were the main reason for the increase in carbon emissions because “Iran was no longer able to import refined oil”. He said: “As a result, the nation needed to refine its own oil quickly and cheaply to keep up with the rising demand.” Another typical ‘blame someone else for Iran’s problems’ arguments that Iranian officials seem to be able to do with such assurance.

The purpose of the editorial was to discourage the outbreak of a war between Iran and the United States. Iran would greatly suffer and would be unable to keep up with a powerful and more sophisticated side. However, Hariri made out that the reason war would be a bad idea is because of the environmental impact.

The United States has tried approaching Iran’s belligerence in a variety of ways. Obama took the appeasement approach and turned a blind eye to much of Iran’s hostility. This did not bring positive change. Rather, it made Iran behave even worse than before. Plus, he gave Iran a huge amount of cash which it promptly used to fund and arm terrorist groups across the region including the notorious Hezbollah.

Trump, on the other hand, took a firm stance from the very start. He has recognised and named the Iranian regime as a state sponsor of terrorism and sectarianism and he has acted accordingly.

Given the severity of the situation and the implications of a war between the two countries, environmental issues are not at the top of the list of considerations. Especially not when the Iranian regime has neglected these issues for so long.

The Iranian people are currently having to put up with a very serious and widespread drought. This is not a consequence of climate change as many claim and even more believe. It is because of the Iranian regime’s policies of building dams and diverting waterways to other areas.

Many Iranians, especially in Arab areas of the country, have had to leave their homes and move to other areas of the country just to survive. The Ahwazi people are being forced out of their area through the regime’s policies of ethnic cleansing. The environment, crops, animals and wildlife are being destroyed in the process.
This is the reality.