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Iranian Officials Warn Of Desertification


A sandstorm engulfs the the capital Tehran, June 2, 2014

Increase in the volume of desertification and reduction of vegetation, combined with other problematic factors, have led to the invasion of haze in most provinces in Iran.

Eight million hectares, out of 35 million hectares of deserts across the country, are threatened by dust storms, turning them into the centers of wind erosion, the official news agency (IRNA) reported on Monday, January 14.

Wind erosion damages the land and natural vegetation by removing soil from one place and depositing it in another. It causes soil loss, dryness, and deterioration of soil structure, nutrient and productivity losses, and air pollution.

Tangible reduction of the vegetation in desert regions, according to IRNA, is one of the essential causes of the increase of wind erosion regions in Iran.

Meanwhile, the country is struggling with the problem of "intensified desertification", constant drought, and reduced precipitation.

Air pollution and dust particles have recently led to the repeated closure of educational centers, disrupting citizens' lives, emigration, as well as protest rallies and demonstrations across the country.

Last May, an official of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad cautioned that if the situation is not stopped the number of dust particles producing desertification areas in Iran will increase up to 77% in 2021, and its expansion will threaten half of the population.

Last year, officials were insisting that seventy percent of particle pollution in Iran comes from foreign countries, mainly form the west, meaning Arab countries.

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