The security situation in Iran has made a lot of headlines lately, but largely missing from the analysis is the state of food, water and climate within the nation. David Michel, director of the Environmental Security Program at the Stimson Center, wrote an article for the U.S. Institute of Peace that helps fill this gap. Michel states:
“Iran faces growing environmental challenges that are now more perilous to the country’s long-term stability than either foreign adversaries or domestic political struggles. More than two-thirds of the country’s land—up to 118 million hectares—is rapidly turning into desert, Iran’s Foreign Range and Watershed Management Organization reported in mid-2013. “The main problem that threatens us [and is] more dangerous than Israel, America or political fighting… is that the Iranian plateau is becoming uninhabitable,” presidential adviser Issa Kalantari warned in the newspaper Ghanoon. “If this situation is not reformed, in 30 years Iran will be a ghost town.” He described an alarming future of desiccated lakes and depleted groundwater, potentially driving millions of Iranians from their homes.”
Read the full article here.
For information on the socio-environmental impacts of Iran’s disappearing Lake Urmia see this article by Dr. Aref Najafi, and a piece we wrote last year.