Iran taking urgent action on air pollution

President Rouhani has said that necessary decisions have been made to deal with the pressing problem of air pollution in Iran.

As cold season inversion has shrouded a number of Iranian cities in smog, President Hassan Rouhani unveiled plans on Wednesday

for “urgent, short-term” measures to tackle severe pollution.

Speaking at a weekly session of the Cabinet, President Rouhani said necessary decisions have been made to deal with the pressing problem of air pollution.

Public concern about the pollution is reasonable and just, the president contended, stressing the need for continuous efforts to allay concerns on the issue.

Although tackling the air pollution is not possible in a short-term period, the administration will make whatever decision necessary to combat the problem, Rouhani added.

In recent weeks, cold temperatures and stagnant air in a number of big Iranian cities, including capital Tehran, have put the air pollution index as much as 7 times the levels recommended by the World Health Organization.

Severe air pollution prompted authorities last week to shut down schools for three days in and around the megacity of Tehran, with an estimated population of 14 million people. It also canceled two Iran Pro League soccer matches on Sunday.

Residents, especially those with cardiac and respiratory problems and pregnant women, have been highly advised to remain indoors.

Eighty percent of Tehran’s pollution is blamed on exhaust fumes emitted from five million cars.