Gov't Promises to Address Environmental Challenges

Gov't Promises to Address Environmental ChallengesGov't Promises to Address Environmental Challenges

President Hassan Rouhani said environmental issues top his government's agenda, highlighting the measures taken to deal with dust storms and the fallout of recent floods hitting western and southern provinces.

Rouhani extended sympathies to those affected and assured the residents that he will do everything in his power to ensure their plight is adequately addressed.

"We will continue efforts to solve environmental problems, including dust storms, and will never feel frustrated," he said.

The president made the pledge in a Thursday meeting with officials from Khuzestan Province, his official website reported.  

Inhabitants of the province and other affected areas are struggling with the aftermath of floods, triggered by recent heavy downpours, and dust storms that have been raging sporadically over the past few years.

Lamenting his government's limited means in dealing with natural disasters, Rouhani said, "The issue of dust storms is complicated and in order to address it, domestic measures and diplomatic consultations [with neighboring countries] are required."    

Last Saturday, Rouhani attended an emergency session of the Crisis Management Center in Tehran, where he tasked his deputy Es'haq Jahangiri, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli and Khuzestan Governor Gholamreza Shariati with resolving the crisis at the earliest. 

Days earlier, torrential rain triggered floods across the south, from Khuzestan Province near the Iraqi border to Sistan-Baluchestan Province on the border with Pakistan.

The recent downpours have washed filaments of dust and sand into power transmission equipment, leading to long outages and affecting water supplies, which disrupted normal life in Ahvaz, the provincial capital, and other cities in the province.

The incident prompted a call for action by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei on Monday.

"Such incidents are truly heartrending. The authorities are duty-bound to act to completely solve these problems," Ayatollah Khamenei.

"A flood is a great calamity that inflicts huge losses on the people and their families, so it is a responsibility to provide aid to the flood-stricken."

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