11272014Thu

Tehran air pollution 'leaves 4,460 dead' in a year

TEHRAN (AFP)— Air pollution in Tehran has left 4,460 people dead in a year, an Iranian health official said in reports Sunday, with another sounding the alarm over high dose of carcinogens in domestically-made petrol.

Hassan Aqajani, an adviser to the health minister, made the announcement on state television, and said the Tehran residents died in a year-long period since March 2011.

High air pollution is a constant woe for the eight million residents in Tehran. It forced the city's closure on Saturday, the second time in a month.

"In recent days, the number of patients who have visited Tehran hospitals with heart problems has increased by 30 percent," Aqajani said.

Tehran's pollution is mainly blamed on bumper-to-bumper traffic in a city wedged between two mountains which trap fumes. But major Iranian cities also struggle with pollution on a seasonal basis.

Pollution is also exacerbated by increasing reliance on domestic production of petrol of a lower grade, and therefore more polluting, a byproduct of Western sanctions on Iran's fuel imports.

Youssef Rashidi, director of Tehran's air quality monitoring services, on Sunday warned carcinogens in Iranian-made petrol is higher than international standards.

"Based on Euro 4 standard the amount of carcinogens in petrol should be less than one percent but the level of our domestically-produced petrol is between two and three percent," Rashidi said in remarks reported by Bahar daily.

The level of sulfur in the petrol is three times higher than the standard, he said.

Iran produces around 60 million litres of petrol on a daily basis, corresponding roughly to its national consumption, according to figures from the oil ministry.

Officials have promised to increase the production of higher grade petrol with Euro 4 and 5 standards, used in European countries, from nine million litres per day to around 25 million by March 2013.

Search

Act of Cowardice

Iran's ruling tyrants have executed yet another political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law.  READ MORE

The rush to Tehran amidst rise in executions

World leaders should halt these visits and link any deal with Iran to its human rights record.  READ MORE

Arming a dictator

What if President Obama ordered the sale of arms to Syrian dictator to massacre his opponents? READ MORE

Slaughter intensifies under Rouhani

231 executions have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani. READ MORE

Silence is not the answer

Iran: Bloody crackdown targeting dissidents aims at terrorizing the people into submission. READ MORE

Iran’s Murder Machine

The wheels of Iran's Murder Machine turn in tandem with its nuclear machine. READ MORE

What now?

The West must drop the dangerous pretence that talking to a regime not interested in listening constitutes the winning strategy. READ MORE

A facelift

This cosmetic facelift should not dupe the West into thinking that there are fresh prospects for a nuclear deal. READ MORE

An Act of Cowardice

The terrorist attack against Iranian exiles at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is another sign of Iranian regime's weakness. READ MORE

Much atalk about nothing

In Istanbul they merely agreed to talk about talking later in May in Baghdad, of all places. READ MORE

An unholy alliance

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. READ MORE

Iran cries for freedom

The clerical regime in Iran has predictably unleashed another wave of terror against the citizenry since the outburst of the latest string of mass protests beginning on 14 February. READ MORE

A new Iran policy

The latest round of nuclear talks had an all-too-familiar result: more time for Tehran and less time for the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed theocracy. READ MORE

Murder overlooked

What would the rest of us do if a mad gunman was in our midst, systematically murdering our fellow human beings in front of our eyes? The responsible amongst us would not look the other way, because that would serve as a source of encouragement for the murderers to carry on with their heinous acts unchecked. READ MORE

Standing up to Iran's executioners

The Iranian regime's malicious noose has yet again taken an innocent life. Political prisoner Ali Saremi, 63, was hanged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison after a lifetime of peacefully espousing human rights and democracy. READ MORE