Drought, dust storms suffocate Iran’s Khuzestan province

Al-Monitor | : The air in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan is no longer safe to breathe. Although the region has been dealing with dust and sandstorms for over a decade, it seems that the situation has only become a crisis in recent years.

Iran’s petroleum hub of Khuzestan borders Iraq. The province was a front line during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War and suffered extensive damage during that time. Yet it has remained Iran’s main source of income due to its oil. As for the destruction from the war era, it has yet to be removed from the landscape. Burned walls can still be seen in the cities of Khorramshahr, Ahvaz and Abadan. However, it seems the challenge facing Khuzestan residents now is the daily dust and sandstorms, making breathing difficult for the people there.

Iranian experts have differing opinions about the source of this problem. Initially, they thought the dust pollution only had an external source, with the particles coming from neighboring Iraq. This viewpoint has changed over time, however, and many attribute internal mismanagement to this permanent environmental crisis in Iran.

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