Contrast between low and high pollution days in Tehran

Iranian Official Dismisses Sub-Standard Gasoline's Role In Air Pollution

Saturday, 12/02/2023

Amid reports about low-quality gasoline and a surge in air pollution across key industrial hubs in Iran, an official insisted that the low-quality fuel has no impact.

In an interview with the semi-official ISNA news agency, Jafar Salari-Nasab, the CEO of the National Company for the Distribution of Petroleum Products emphasized that “the distributed gasoline meets Euro specifications in terms of quality and octane level.” He highlighted that Euro-grade gasoline, known for its superior quality, is distributed in major cities such as Tehran.

The National Crisis Management Center recently issued a warning about escalating air pollution levels in industrial centers like Tehran, Karaj, Arak, Esfahan, and Tabriz, coupled with a decline in air quality.

Salari-Nasab's comments come in the wake of the Taliban government's standards office rejecting fuel tankers carrying Iranian gasoline, citing substandard quality. According to a recent announcement by the Taliban on November 29, 24 tankers carrying low-quality Iranian gasoline were returned through the Farah border crossing in the last two days. In total, 74 tankers have been sent back from Afghanistan in the past week.

Iran has been grappling with a significant gasoline shortage since last summer, prompting refineries to add substances to base gasoline. The harmful additives have led to the production of non-standard gasoline, contributing significantly to air pollution in the country.

A recent report by Etemad revealed that Tehran experienced only two clear days in the last year, with a simultaneous surge in emergency room visits by residents due to polluted air. Iran currently ranks as the sixth-highest greenhouse gas contributor globally, following China, the United States, India, Japan, and Russia. 

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