Urgent Plans for Combating Air Pollution

Urgent Plans for Combating Air PollutionUrgent Plans for Combating Air Pollution

As climatic inversion shrouds a number of Iranian cities in smog, President Hassan Rouhani unveiled plans on Wednesday for “urgent, short-term” measures to tackle severe pollution.

Speaking in the weekly session of the Cabinet, he said decisions have been made to deal with the pressing problem of air pollution.

"Public concern about the pollution is reasonable and just," he said, stressing the need for continuous efforts to allay concerns regarding the issue, Tasnim News Agency reported.

Rouhani noted that although it is not possible to tackle air pollution in the short run, the administration will take the necessary decision to combat the problem.

In recent weeks, cold temperatures and stagnant air in major Iranian cities, including the capital Tehran, have pushed the air pollution index as much as sevenfold above the levels recommended by the World Health Organization.

Severe air pollution prompted authorities last week to shut down schools for three days in and around the megacity of Tehran, with an estimated population of 14 million people. It also canceled two Iran Pro League soccer matches on Sunday.

Residents, especially those with cardiac and respiratory problems and pregnant women, have been advised to remain indoors.

Eighty percent of Tehran’s pollution is blamed on exhaust fumes emitted from 3.5 million cars.