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As Mystery Foul Odor Engulfs Tehran, Investigations Are Underway

A general view shows smog obscures buildings in Tehran, December 5, 2018. File photo

Hours after Tehran was engulfed by an "obnoxious smell" its source still remains a mystery.

An expert team has been set up to find the source of an unpleasant smell which started bothering the citizens of the Iranian capital on Wednesday evening, an official with the Environment Department of Tehran Province announced.

Local reports on the source of the foul smell are highly contradictory. Initial reports said that it engulfed mainly the southern part of the capital after a burst in Tehran's sewage facility at Enghelab (Revolution) street. Later reports speculated that leakages in Tehran's oil refinery, as well as in its gas pipelines were responsible.

However, all these reports were later dismissed as unfounded.

The department of public relations at Tehran's Sewage System officially issued a statement, declaring that there was no report of any breakage in the system.

In a similar response, Tehran's oil refinery, gas and water management entities said that no leaks have been reported in their facilities.

Meanwhile, according to Iranian government's official news agency, IRNA, Samim Rouzbahani, the spokesman of Crisis Management Department of Tehran Municipality, said the source of the smell is reportedly from Hassanabad area in central Tehran. Investigations have begun in different parts of the city, local news outlets reported.

The latest reports point the finger at Tehran's garbage dumps as the culprit.
Speaking to the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA), Tehran's representative to Majlis (parliament), Ms. Tayyebeh Seyavoshi cited Department of Environment officials as saying, "As the odor is not sulfurous and it rather smells like Ammonia, the source might be Tehran's main garbage depot near Kharizak, 31 kilometers (roughly 18.5 miles) south of the capital.

In the meantime, another local MP, Ms. Fatemeh Zolqadr, believes that the source of the repulsive smell is Mellat (Nation) metro station in Tehran.

While, officials have repeatedly insisted that there was no health hazard in the obnoxious odor, the head of Tehran City Council's Health Committee has cautioned that after the spread of the foul smell, the rate of the pollutant materials in Tehran's increased up to 40 percent.

Tehran has been engulfed by smug in recent weeks.

Currently, the volume of the smell has subsided in some parts of Tehran, but central parts of the city are still shrouded in it.