A view from Mount Damavand from the capital Tehran  (file photo)

A view from Mount Damavand from the capital Tehran

Iran Abstained From UN Vote To Declare Clean Environment As Human Right


Iran was among the few countries that abstained from a vote on a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly that declared everyone on the planet has a right to a healthy environment.

In a resolution passed Thursday morning at UN headquarters in New York City, the General Assembly described climate change and environmental degradation as some of the most pressing threats to humanity’s future, calling on states to step up efforts to ensure their people have access to a “clean, healthy and sustainable environment.”

Some 161 countries voted for the resolution and only eight countries abstained, including Iran, Russia, and China.

“This resolution sends a message that nobody can take nature, clean air and water, or a stable climate away from us – at least, not without a fight,” said Inger Andersen, the executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP).

The move followed a similar vote by the UN Human Rights Council that declared in April that access to a “clean, healthy and sustainable environment” is a human right.

Earlier in July, sandstorms and dangerously polluted air led to the closure of schools and some government offices in Iran’s capital Tehran as well as several other cities across the country.

Tehran was logged as the most polluted city in the world in April with air quality hazardous and visibility very low largely due to the very high level of airborne particles. The capital’s pollution is mainly blamed on poor government policies, desertification and low water levels, as well as climate change that has intensified sandstorms.

Moreover, the usage of highly polluting diesel and mazut fuels in power plants jumped in Iran in 2021 on top of increases in previous years.

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