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Iran official warns water crisis could lead to mass migration

The adviser for water, agricultural and environment to Iran’s vice president warns that if Iran doesn't cut its water exploitation in half, the country could see a mass exodus.
Young Iranian women carry jugs of water, filled at water distribution point, to their village outside Zabol in south eastern Iran, July 17, 2001. Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province is suffering from a third consecutive year of drought which the United Nations says has cost the country $2.6 billion in dammages this year, up from $1.7 billion last year. Local officials say without rain remaining water sources will dry up by December. - RTXKN5I
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Speaking to a group of reporters and experts April 25, Issa Kalantari, the adviser for water, agriculture and the environment to Iran’s vice president, warned that if Iran does not change its approach to water use, the result could be mass migration.

According to Shahrvand newspaper, Kalantari, a former minister of agriculture, warned that by continuing to exploit 97% of Iran's surface water, “Approximately 50 million people, 70% of Iranians, will have no choice but to leave the country.” He did not offer a timetable on when this would happen but asked, “With the state of our foreign policy, which countries are ready to accommodate 30 to 50 million Iranians?”

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