Iranian Foreign Ministry should follow up Aras River pollution

TEHRAN, Nov. 23 (MNA) – In a report, IRNA has urged Iranian authorities not to overlook the Aras River pollution caused by wastewater from Armenia in recent years.

Concerns over Aras River pollution due to wastewater discharge from Armenia in recent years have been one of the main concerns of the people of the northwest of Iran despite the efforts made by the responsible authorities.

The occasional release of images and videos of green wastewater from Armenia to Aras River has been widely reflected in public opinion, accusing the authorities of negligence for pollution in one of Iran's most important border rivers threatening the lives of more than 7 million Iranian people.

As a result of this situation over the past 15 years, the citizens of the northwest of Iran have always been concerned about the contamination of Aras River with heavy metals and its irreparable consequences on the ecosystem of the region.

Aras River is one of the most important rivers in Iran which has important potential for catching fish besides its tourist attraction and positive ecosystem effects.

Referring to a decade long contamination of Aras River as a result of wastewater discharge from Armenia, university professor and researcher in agriculture field Ahmad Babiverdi told IRNA, "undoubtedly there are heavy metals in Aras River."

“I would definitely say that the effluent of the factories in Armenia flows into the Aras River, and the emergence of the green water is also due to the high concentration of heavy metals because copper oxide causes the color of water to become green,” he said stating that he has closely seen the activity of Armenian factories.

The director-general of Department of Environment in East Azerbaijan Hamid Ghasemi said since the wastewater discharge to Aras River by the Armenian side is contrary to international protocols and conventions; it should be followed up by Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Energy should protest and also follow up promptly and seriously this issue, he added.

He mentioned that Aras River is polluted with heavy metals which are the result of wastewater discharge from Armenia, adding that they are harmful to people and it is necessary for Armenia to tackle this pollution as soon as possible.

In this regard, the member of the Iranian parliament from  Marand and Jolfa in constituency Mohammad Hasan Nejad said that Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs must take this issue seriously and not keep silent because of maintaining the country's relationship with Armenia.

The issue of wastewater and pollution in the Aras River is a national issue, and it's not just about Marand, Jolfa, and the towns along the river, he added.

Managing Director of East Azarbaijan Water Company Yusuf Ghaffarzadeh also asked the Armenian senior officials to fully stop entering of pollutions into Aras River for the next three years.

Addressing the closing ceremony of the annual joint working group meeting of Iran and Armenia which was held on November 19-21, 2019 in Tabriz on monitoring and preventing Aras River pollution, he said that during the recent meeting of the working group, Armenia was obliged to impose precise control over mining operations.

He pointed out that monitoring quality factors in aqua texture and sediments of the Aras River over the past decade jointly and simultaneously has been done by both countries and is to be continued on a monthly basis.

Aras basin is located in countries of Iran, Turkey, Armenia, and the Azerbaijan Republic.

ZZ/IRN83559407

News Code 152591

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