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Environment official says Iran looking for more international cooperation

US opposition to lending to Iran by multinational organizations has undercut Tehran's ability to face growing environmental challenges, the deputy head of Iran's Department of Environment says.
A picture taken on August 14, 2016 in a abandoned village near the southern Iranian city of Sirjan shows dead pistachio trees at a field that farmers left behind due to the lack of water.
The pistachio trees at the village in southern Iran are long dead, bleached white by the sun -- the underground water reserves sucked dry by decades of over-farming and waste. The last farmers left with their families 10 years ago, and the village has the look of an abandoned Martian colony. / AFP / ATTA KENARE / TO GO WIT
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NEW YORK — Faced with mounting environmental challenges, Iran is implementing an ambitious program to reduce greenhouse gases and restore dried wetlands, but it would benefit from more international cooperation, including a resumption of lending by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a senior official says.

In an exclusive interview Sept. 22 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly's annual meeting, Majid Shafie-Pour, the deputy head of Iran’s Department of Environment, told Al-Monitor that US opposition to GEF support for Iran has hurt his country's ability to achieve even more.

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