Saturday, April 1, 2023

Iran arrests several after Drying Lake protests

Iran Arrests Several After Drying Lake Protests

Iranian police have arrested several people for disturbing security after they protested the drying up of a lake once considered the largest in the Middle East, official media said on Sunday.

Lake Urmia, in the mountains of northwestern Iran, began to shrink in 1995 due to a combination of prolonged drought and the withdrawal of water for agriculture and dams, according to the United Nations Environment Program.

Urmia, one of the largest “hypersaline” or super salty lakes in the world, is located between the cities of Tabriz and Urmia, with more than six million people depending on agriculture on its shores.

On Sunday, Rahim Jahanbakhsh, the police chief of Iran’s West Azerbaijan province, reported the arrests.

He described the suspects as “many evil and hostile elements, who had no other goal than to destroy public property and disturb the safety of the population,” according to the state news agency IRNA.

On Saturday, the Fars news agency reported that “dozens of people in the cities of Naghadeh and Urmia had protested against the authorities’ lack of attention to the drought in Lake Urmia.”

Fars said protesters had shouted slogans in the provincial capital of Urmia warning that the lake was shrinking.

“Lake Urmia is dying, parliament orders its death,” some shouted, Fars reported, and others shouted that “Lake Urmia is thirsty.”

Largely arid Iran, like other neighboring countries, has suffered from chronic droughts and heat waves for years, which are expected to worsen with the impacts of climate change.

In recent months, thousands of people have demonstrated against the drying up of rivers, particularly in central and southwestern Iran.

Lake Urmia is an important ecosystem, a key stopover point for migratory birds and home to an endemic shrimp as well as other underwater species.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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