Preserving environment essential for health, development, preventing undue immigration/Solving environmental issues requires regional, international cooperation/We must aim at having more powerful region instead being the most powerful country in region/80% of Iran's dust storm originates from outside

"The 11th administration was the administration of environment and the first decision it made was restoring Lake Urmia," said President Rouhani at the "International Conference on Combating Sand and Dust Storms: Challenges and Practical Solutions".

Mon 03 - July 2017 - 10:07

At the conference that was held on Monday in Tehran, the President described protecting the environment as essential for health, development and preventing excessive immigrations, stressing that solving environmental issues requires planning and regional and international cooperation.

"If there were no plan to restore Lake Urmia, we would face salt dust storms," added the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"Policies of restoring Hour-al-Azim Lagoon and efforts done to protect wetlands and lakes will be continued and finalised," Dr Rouhani continued.

The dangerous phenomenon of dust and sand storms has increased significantly in the recent decade, said the President, adding: "Hamun, with its 15bn cubic metres of water, could make the 120-day winds pleasant for the residents of Sistan & Baluchistan province but now, this is not the case".

He also said: "Building dams without studying environmental aspects is damaging for the region", continuing: "Regional and international organisations should not be indifferent to environmental damages in Iraq and Iran caused by dam construction in neighbouring countries".

President Rouhani went on to say: "If Hamun's water dries up, in addition to Sistan & Baluchistan, Afghanistan itself will be in danger".

"We will not be able to resolve environmental issues without regional and international cooperation," added Rouhani..

"The important region of Middle East and West Asia is a family, said the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, adding: "We must aim at having a more powerful region instead being the most powerful country in the region".

"Let's put undue regional competitions aside," said Dr Rouhani, adding: "The fire of war increases sand and dust storms".

On terrorism in the region, he said: "Terrorism is a contagious virus in the region, the idea of using terrorism as a tool is a big mistake".

Today, the era of putting up walls is over, added the President, saying: "If parvenu leaders of some countries are thinking about putting up walls, they must know that today, is the era of joining hands, not cutting off arms. Instead of cutting off arms, we must join hands in respecting other nations' rights".

He continued: "We must preserve the rights of our people by respecting others' rights and if the USA or Saudi Arabia think this way, they are mistaken".

"Of course, I do not name the Zionist Regime in this regard because its entire existence is based on mistake, error, occupation and aggression," the President added.

President Rouhani also said: "We have no solution other than a win-win policy to resolve the issues of the region".

Stating that "we are all the members of one family when it comes to environmental issues", he said: "The United Nations should use all its tools to resolve environmental issues of the region".

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