Iran has blamed Russia for the diminishing water levels in the Caspian Sea which threatens to damage delicate ecosystems that rely on the sea's waters.
The head of the Iranian Department of Environment, Ali Salajegheh, claimed the closure of vital entrances to the Caspian Sea are a major factor behind the crisis, particularly emphasizing the impact of the closure of the Volga River.
Salajegheh expressed his concerns, stating, "The entrances to the Caspian Sea have been closed by the neighboring countries, especially the entrance from the Volga River has been shut. This has led to a significant decrease in the sea's water levels, which poses a serious ecological challenge."
The Iranian official further elaborated on the extent of the problem, asserting, "The Caspian Sea's water level has been steadily decreasing, and alarming statistics indicate a reduction of approximately one meter over the last 4-5 years. On average, the sea is receding by 20 centimeters annually."
However, he did not discuss the impact of increasing temperatures and climate change in worsening the crisis. Highlighting the urgency of the situation, he urged for collaborative efforts among the neighboring countries to address the issue.
It was an unusual attack from Iran considering the two sanctioned nations have become closer allies since the war in Ukraine, in which Iran has supplied drones and other military support to Russia. As Iran remains largely isolated on the world stage, it has become closer to Russia in economic dealings in addition to supporting it in military aspects.