0902 GMT January 29, 2020
UN Resident Coordinator Gary Lewis made the remarks in Tehran on Saturday in a press conference attended by Iran’s Environmental chief, Masoumeh Ebtekar, IRNA wrote.
The press conference comes ahead of an international event dubbed “The International Conference on Combating Sand and Dust Storms: Challenges and Practical Solutions,” which will take place in Tehran, July 3-5.
Lewis said the UN General Assembly passed four resolutions to combat dust storms last year, describing Iran’s role in their formation as “very remarkable.”
He noted that people from across the globe, including Iranians, are dealing with the adverse impacts of sand and dust storms.
The UN official said the Iranian provinces of Ilam, Sistan-Baluchestan, Kermanshah and Khuzestan have been affected by these phenomena, adding that the situation in Khuzestan and Sistan-Baluchestan is worse.
For her part, Ebtekar said President Hassan Rouhani’s administration has drawn plans on the agenda over the past four years to mitigate the impact of dust storms.
She urged Iraq to comply with its commitments to prevent dust storms from spreading to Iranian cities.
The cities of Ahvaz, Abadan and Khorramshahr in Khuzestan Province, which are near Iraq, are largely affected by dust storms.
Iran says dust storms originate in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and has urged their authorities to address the problem.
The Iranian environmental chief expressed hope that the elimination of Daesh terror group will help Iraq fulfill its commitments to tackle dust storms.
Ebtekar said Tehran and Baghdad signed an MoU two months ago to set up a 200-hectare farm for boosting capabilities to deal with dust storms. She added that planting seedlings, spreading mulch, managing water resources, and restoring wetlands are among the issues mentioned in the MoU.
Ministers, senior officials as well as experts from regional and international organizations will participate in the conference.
Representatives from over 30 countries including France, Germany, China, Italy, Mexico, Serbia, Slovakia, South Korea, Belgium, the US, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and Azerbaijan have announced preparedness to attend the conference.