Iran’s environment destroyed by regime policies

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Experts warn of environmental disaster in IranExperts warn of environmental disaster in Iran

3 minute read

Since the mullah regime seized power in Iran, a multifaceted crisis has emerged, characterized not only by domestic repression and regional instability, but also by severe environmental deterioration. The regime’s policies, characterized by anti-populist tendencies and disregard for ecological sustainability, are seriously damaging Iran’s natural landscape. Rivers and lakes are drying up, forests in the north are suffering widespread degradation, groundwater reservoirs are depleted to alarming levels, and land subsidence is occurring in many regions. The cumulative effects of these environmental catastrophes have made certain areas uninhabitable, prompting mass migration from affected areas.

Even regime-controlled state media, usually reluctant to criticize matters, are being forced to acknowledge the seriousness of this environmental crisis. An article published in the state-run newspaper Resalat on February 21, 2024, titled “Climate change bell has rung,” emphasized the urgency of the situation. The report reveals how Iran’s climate crisis has intensified over the past decade, with experts saying that large urban centers like Isfahan, which suffer from severe water shortages and land subsidence, have expressed serious concerns about the sustainability of living in the country.

Dariush Golarizadeh, director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Center for Atmospheric and Climate Change, presented statistics showing that in the past two years alone, around 800,000 people from south-central states have migrated north due to climate change. This migration is directly attributable to climate change and portends potential future security risks.

A critical water deficit of 13 billion cubic meters has been recorded in Isfahan, indicating a significant imbalance between water usage and availability. Official statistics on migration from Isfahan to other provinces remain elusive, but reports dating back to 2016 indicate that residents are moving north to escape drought-induced adversity along the Zayandeh Roud River. is recorded.

Government studies confirmed the imminent fear of population displacement from vast areas of Iran’s central plains, particularly from Isfahan province, due to significant groundwater shortages. A report on the state-run Entechhub website quantifies Isfahan’s negative water balance as equivalent to about 20 rivers the size of the Zayandeh Roud.

Isfahan is facing not only a water crisis and the drying up of important water bodies such as the Zayandeh Roud and Gabkoni wetlands, but also a severe land subsidence crisis exacerbated by climate change, population growth, and scarcity of surface water resources. Rampant extraction of groundwater disrupts the hydrological equilibrium, leading to various environmental crises.

Mohammad Reza Farah, representative of Isfahan province in the Supreme Council of the Provinces, identified the reduction of groundwater reservoirs as the main cause of the land subsidence phenomenon. He points out that land subsidence in Iran is nearly 90 times the average rate in developed countries, with large urban centers such as Isfahan and Tehran bearing the brunt of the effects.

In Isfahan, land subsidence is occurring in Districts 11 and 15, as well as in the center, and surrounding areas such as Shahin Shahr, Flowerjan, Najafabad, and the vicinity of Beheshti Airport are similarly affected. Horzuq, located near Isfahan, has not been spared the negative effects of land subsidence.

The impacts of climate change on water resources are far-reaching and include changes in precipitation patterns, water flows, the prevalence of sandstorms, and widespread land subsidence. This ongoing catastrophe has put one of Iran’s oldest cities at risk, and the pace of change is accelerating alarmingly.

According to 2016 geological data, 2,300 square kilometers of Isfahan province’s plains are susceptible to land subsidence, and by 2020, this area has swelled to nearly 10,000 square kilometers. Land subsidence rates have been measured at 8 to 12 centimeters per year at Isfahan’s Shahid Beheshti Airport alone.

Reports have emerged detailing the negative effects of land subsidence on residential areas and historic buildings in Isfahan province, suggesting an impending crisis and the possibility of a new wave of migration.

Mansour Shisheforoush, head of the Isfahan governorate’s emergency management department, said that due to water shortages and dust activity due to climate change, Isfahan has experienced land subsidence of 4 to 18 centimeters, with 53 days in the first half of this year being deemed uninhabitable. I emphasized that there was a day. down to fine dust.

Water management experts believe that large-scale droughts, many of which are of human origin, are caused by large-scale migration from central to northern states, lured by more favorable water conditions. thinking. They cite inefficient water management policies, inter-basin water transfer plans, and worsening climate change as fundamental factors for migration, saying that if the prevailing trends persist, large areas of Iran will become uninhabitable. It warns that it will happen. These experts predict that internal migration will intensify in the coming years as Iran’s water resources approach depletion.

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