“In 30 years Iran will be a ghost town” if the country’s water situation does not improve

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SOURCE CITED:  HOMELAND SECURITY NEWSWIRE

Issa Kalantari, a former agriculture minister during the presidency of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and currently and advisor to President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, says Iran’s water crisis was especially grave. “Our main problem that threatens us, that is more dangerous than Israel, America or political fighting, is the issue of living in Iran. It is that the Iranian plateau is becoming uninhabitable”; “If this situation is not reformed, in 30 years Iran will be a ghost town.”

Map shows Iran's groundwater stress levels among world's highest // Source: huaban.com

Issa Kalantari, a former agriculture minister during the presidency of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and currently and advisor to President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, was interviewed by the Ghanoon newspaper about the challenges facing Iran.

According to Al Monitor, Kalantari, who heads agriculture research for Iran’s Expediency Council’s Center of Strategic Research, said that Iran’s water crisis was especially grave.

Our main problem that threatens us, that is more dangerous than Israel, America or political fighting, is the issue of living in Iran. It is that the Iranian plateau is becoming uninhabitable … groundwater has decreased and a negative water balance is widespread, and no one is thinking about this.
….
I am deeply worried about the future generations. There has been livelihood in Iran for 7,000 years. We do not have a right with this lack of planning to confront the country with this great of a challenge.
….
I have said it everywhere. If this situation is not reformed, in 30 years Iran will be a ghost town. Even if there is precipitation in the desert, there will be no yield, because the area for groundwater will be dried and water will remain at ground level and evaporate.
All the bodies of natural water in Iran are drying up: Lake Urumieh, Bakhtegan, Tashak, Parishan and others. I am talking about the occurrence of a crisis. People’s lives are being threatened.
….
[D]deserts in Iran are spreading, and I am warning you that South Alborz and East Zagros will be uninhabitable and people will have to migrate. But where? Easily I can say that of the 75  million people in Iran, 45 million will have uncertain circumstances.”

Kalantari continued, “If we start this very day to address this, it will take 12 to 15 years to balance.”

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