The onset of extremely high temperatures in parts of Iran might lead to electricity shortages, the interior minister has warned and ordered conservation.
In the oil-rich Khuzestan province, southeast, temperatures are expected to hit 49 degrees Celsius (120 F) on Sunday and Monday. The governor of the province has ordered office work hours to be reduced to 12:00 noon.
The extreme heat will also affect other southern regions, with work hours reduced from west to east of southern Iran.
Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, the interior minister announced on Saturday, July 6, those businesses which do not set their air conditioners on 25 C (77F) will be denied electricity after 13:00 hours. He reiterated that the implementation of the decision has been coordinated with the ministry of energy.
Central and southern Iran usually face severe heat waves during summer in recent years, which leads to high usage of air conditioning and electricity shortages. Drought in recent years reduced hydroelectric power generation, which compounded the problem.
This year, torrential rains and flood have replenished water reservoirs but concerns about shortage of electricity persist.