I just returned from a three-day scientific symposium in Iran, focused on the tragic status of Lake Urmieh in the NW and that of the Helmand Hamouns on the Afghan border (very large shallow wetlands formerly fed by the Helmand river). Due largely to mismanagement, both are almost completely dry. This has caused huge humanitarian as well as economic and environmental stress. Hospitals are full of patients suffering from cardiopulmonary diseases due to dust storms.
We split into two groups to visit the different sites. I went to the Hamouns and was able to talk with local people. No wild and very few domestic animals remain. Due to 60 MPH dust storms, people sleep with a wet rag over their face, or risk not waking up. Thousands have migrated to Northern Iran.
To some extent, these tragedies result from sanctions against Iran. Western authorities think only of pressuring the central government, blind to the “domino-like” repercussions to the general population which, by the way, is very pro-American.
David Laylin CdeP 1955