Iranian Gov’t Vows to Control Air Pollution

The government has launched schemes to change highly polluting fuels used by industrial plants with more environment-friendly ones and improve the quality of gasoline
President Hassan Rouhani addresses a public gathering in Karaj, Alborz Province, on Nov. 16.President Hassan Rouhani addresses a public gathering in Karaj, Alborz Province, on Nov. 16.

The government is set to succeed in its efforts to defeat the "monster" of air pollution, although its major steps to overcome the formidable challenge may take time to produce tangible results.

President Hassan Rouhani made the statement in a public address in Karaj, Alborz Province, on Wednesday.

The capital Tehran and other big cities are experiencing smoggy days these days, mainly due to a phenomenon known as temperature inversion, which in cold seasons entraps toxic pollutants in highly polluted areas.

Tehran saw the most polluted day of the current Iranian year (started March 20) on Monday, when sensors registered an air quality index of 156 with a "red status".

Describing air pollution as a "grave danger that threatens the whole globe, just like terrorism", Rouhani said reducing air pollution is high on the government's agenda, his official website reported.

The president noted that the first step taken by the government to tackle the problem has been to change highly polluting fuels consumed by industrial facilities, assuring that the scheme will continue until it encompasses all plants.

The second measure has been to improve the quality of gasoline distributed in gas stations, particularly by bringing Euro-4 gasoline to major cities.

"The third step is to phase out old vehicles, particularly the public ones, as they produce a large portion of air pollutants," he said.

Pointing to the need for producing environment-friendly cars, Rouhani said cooperation between Iranian automakers and French companies to produce high-quality cars by the end of the current Iranian year will help improve the environmental conditions.

Rouhani signed memorandums of understandings for cooperation in automotive industry in his January visit to France, days after the implementation of a July 2015 nuclear deal to remove international nuclear-related sanctions on Iran in return for sanctions relief.

The president said the government cannot fight air pollution alone and success will come with the active contribution of the society.


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