QA-9, 12 May 2022, Statement of the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Tanju Bilgiç, in Response to a Question Regarding the Claims Against Türkiye Related to the Sand and Dust Storms Occurred in Iran and the Air Pollution in Tehran

Republic Of Türkiye Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 12.05.2022

In the Iranian media, there have been claims that the environmental problems in Iran and the air pollution which has reached a peak in Tehran lately due to sand and dust storms result from Türkiye’s dam constructions. Such claims are raised by the Iranian politicians as well.

The allegations that the dams in Türkiye cause sand and dust storms in our region have no scientific basis. Sand and dust storms are primarily natural phenomena, which is accepted by all circles. The main reason for the sand and dust storms that affect Türkiye and Iran is the desert dusts originating from Africa and the Middle East, which are the most significant two sources of global dust. Furthermore; land degradation, deforestation, desertification and draught triggered by climate change are exacerbating such storms.

Every country should fulfill its responsibilities and take the necessary measures for sustainable use of water and land resources with a view to preventing and mitigating the negative effects of sand and dust storms. Tehran administration’s allegations against Türkiye as regards such problems do not constitute a realistic approach for addressing them.

Türkiye approaches “water” solely from a humanitarian perspective. Türkiye believes that transboundary waters present an opportunity for cooperation rather than being a source of disagreement among riparian countries. To date, Türkiye has been pursuing an approach which considers the needs of the downstream riparian countries and respects the international law, and will continue to do so.

Türkiye stands ready for rational and scientific cooperation with Iran on this matter.

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