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Deep Dive Into Iran’s Water Woes

Urmia_lake_1984_to_2011Last week, The New York Times’ Thomas Erdbrink wrote an article on Iran that outlined a new threat. It wasn’t about uranium enrichment or backdoor discussions between the P5+1. It was about the water levels in Lake Urmia, the largest lake in the Middle East. The full article, “Its Great Lake Shriveled, Iran Confronts Crisis of Water Supply,” is worth a read.

Though the country’s nuclear ambitions still dominate the security discussion around Iran, the country’s natural resource crisis is slowly garnering increased attention. (more…)

David Michel on Iran’s Environment: Greater Threat than Foreign Foes

Urmia_lake_1984_to_2011The 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: (more…)

Socio-environmental Impacts of Iran’s Disappearing Lake Urmia

This is a guest post by Dr. Aref Najafi of the Lake Urmia Conservation Institute, and contributor to the recent UNEP report “The Drying of Iran’s Lake Urmia and its Environmental Consequences.” This post provides a more in-depth look at the political context of the Iranian government’s neglect of lake Urmia, building on our recent article on the climate, water and security dimensions of the problem. (more…)

Eye on Iran: Lake Urmia, Water, Climate and Security in a Volatile Region

This blog also appeared on the humanitarian news site, AlertNet

The strategic position of Iran, straddling the energy-thruway that is the Strait of Hormuz, bordering, among other nations, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and sitting a mere 1,000 miles northeast of an anxious Israel, is unquestionably important. However, while the recent focus has been on whether or not Iran has the capability and the will to turn its domestic nuclear energy program into a nuclear weapons program, another human and economic disaster looms relatively unnoticed: the drying up of Lake Urmia in the country’s northwest – the largest lake in the Middle East. Given the current volatile political landscape surrounding Iran, this is worth a closer look. (more…)