Dust particles that blanket southwestern Iran every now and then emanate from Saudi Arabia and West Asia, Head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization (IEPO) Masoumeh Ebtekar said.
Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Monday, Ebtekar said air pollution in the country's southwestern regions is chiefly due to the dust particles that originate from Saudi Arabia and West Asia.
She noted, however, that no government can begin to tackle such a challenge because of insecurity in some of the West Asian countries, where dust particles are blown into other states.
She also stated that tackling the dust particles problem is not possible in short term, whether its origin is inside or outside the country.
Ebtekar said she will travel to the southwestern province of Khuzestan on Tuesday to address the issue of dust particles, which has been exacerbated by reduced precipitation.
In comments in March, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei noted that environmental problems, such as air pollution in large cities and dust particles, could be resolved through patience and prudence.
Imam Khamenei also underlined that the issue of environment is not within the purview of a specific administration, individual or political current, but is a "national subject" that requires joint efforts.
Earlier on Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his administration has high regard for the environment and insists on the protection of natural resources and wildlife habitats.
Iranian residents in the western and southwestern provinces, bordering Iraq, are facing a growing trend in the influx of fine particles, which are generated by drought-hit marshlands in neighboring countries.
The disruptive dust storms have pushed pollution in those border areas to alarming levels, and have also raised health concerns.
The particles, carried by winds, can penetrate the lungs and enter the bloodstream, causing serious diseases such as lung cancer, asthma and heart problems.
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