Reza Ardakanian

Iran’s Energy Ministry, IRGC forge partnership for cloud seeding

Tasnim – Iran’s Energy Minister Reza Ardekanian said his organization has come up with a joint plan with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) to carry out cloud seeding projects across the country.

In an interview with Tasnim, Ardekanian said the Energy Ministry and the IRGC have devised a cooperation plan for cloud seeding, expressing hope that it would produce the desired results.

Noting that Iran is located in an arid and semi-arid region, he said the Energy Ministry has been working on cloud seeding projects for years and has established a center for it.

Ardekanian added that the ministry is also considering other initiatives to ease the shortage of water, including wastewater recycling and treatment, seawater desalination, and feasibility studies on extraction of deep water tables.

In January 2018, IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh voiced readiness to help the Energy Ministry carry out cloud seeding operations, saying his forces were at the Iranian nation’s service and would mobilize all equipment to help the administration.

It came after frequent droughts and low rainfall in Iran in last autumn forced the administration to opt for cloud seeding in the hope of squeezing more precipitation out of the atmosphere.

Last month, an IRGC official said the Aerospace Force had created a specialized drone unit to carry out cloud seeding projects in five regions across the country, describing the pilotless aircraft as a perfect option in cloud seeding practices considering their high maneuverability and low costs of flight.

Cloud seeding originated in the US in the 1940s. The method generally used in the winter involves ground-based generators set at high elevations that are literally fired up to release plumes containing silver iodide crystals into storm clouds. When water vapor or droplets attach to the silver iodide crystal, latent heat is also released, and it increases cloud size and the duration of storms.

Global warming has forced many arid and semi-arid areas around the world, including Iran, to suffer from drought.