Iran urges regional cooperation on environmental issues
In comments after inaugurating a number of projects via a videoconference in Tehran, Rouhani said his outgoing government’s activities have improved the country’s environmental situation compared to eight years ago, Tasnim News Agency reported.
Pointing to the tree-planting projects by his government for dealing with the issue of haze and dust particles in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, he said: “It does not mean that all problems have been solved, but we need to cooperate with regional countries, since a series of issues relate to the neighbors.”
Rouhani urged the neighboring states to act justly when it comes to using the river waters.
“When one country uses the entire rivers of the Tigris and the Euphrates and the downstream country is deprived of them, its impacts are inflicted on us,” the president deplored.
He also bemoaned the fact that construction of dams in Afghanistan has reduced the flow of water into the Hamun Lake in southeastern Iran and caused environmental problems, stressing that action must be taken in international organizations and political and scientific measures should be adopted to settle the issue.
Iran and Afghanistan have disagreements over allocation of water from the Hirmand River, as both sides suffer from droughts and climate change.
In a move in violation of a 1973 treaty with Iran, Afghanistan has refused to supply its neighbor with share of water from Hirmand, which rises in Afghanistan and flows through eastern parts of Iran, according to Iran’s Energy Ministry.
According to the treaty, Afghanistan is committed to share waters of the Hirmand River with Iran and supply it with 26 cubic meters of Hirmand water per second or 850 million cubic meters per annum.