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Zarif: Regional Coop. on Environmental Issues a Necessity
Zarif: Regional Coop. on Environmental Issues a Necessity

Zarif: Regional Coop. on Environmental Issues a Necessity

Zarif: Regional Coop. on Environmental Issues a Necessity

Iran's top diplomat said on Friday that Tehran is "extending a hand" to neighboring countries to help resolve environmental issues that have plagued the Middle East for years.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 16th Iran International Environment Exhibition, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said regional cooperation to address problems such as water shortage and dust storms "is not just an environmental necessity, but integral to security".

The official said addressing environmental concerns is a test "which I hope the leaders of all the countries in the region can pass".

Zarif said “wrong policies” employed by some countries in the region “have contributed to desertification, dust storms and water shortage.”

Since the 1970s, Ankara's obsession with building dams has drastically reduced water flow to Iraq and Syria, turning once-thriving wetlands and plains into hotspots for dust and sand storms that batter various areas in the Middle East, including Khuzestan Province.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran extends a hand of cooperation to all its neighbors to help secure our children's future,” Zarif said.

Updates: 

Today in Iran -Meeting with Environment Vice Minister with NGOs and Industry discussing key environmental priorities of our cooperation pic.twitter.com/Kb7H0vH8SL

— Daniel Calleja (@DCallejaEC) February 24, 2017

With Luca Galletti Italian Environment Minister,we decided to finalise 4 projects on waste management, industrial waste & climate change pic.twitter.com/ODOKegKAdQ

— Massoumeh Ebtekar (@ebtekarm) February 24, 2017

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