Iran’s Department of the Environment denies having issued any hunting permits for rare birds to tourists from Arab countries.
Ahmad Ali Keykha, the department deputy head, said on Monday January 26 that the organization has never issued any permits for foreign nationals to hunt rare birds in Iran.
Keykha states that only three provinces issue permits to hunt birds in light of traditions and livelihoods.
The Shargh daily reported on January 25 that nine poachers from the UAE and Qatar were arrested while hunting for the protected species Houbara Bustard in Iran.
Kerman rangers reportedly stopped the vehicle carrying the hunters and confiscated six rare hawks. The report indicates some avian flesh, possibly from the Houbara Bustard, was also found in the vehicle.
The officials have reported, however, that the hunters were carrying a permit allowing them to move the birds to Hormozgan Province, one of the southern coastal provinces.
The birds are protected by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, according to the Department of the Environment, and hunting permits cannot be issued for them.
Earlier this month, Kerman rangers arrested a group of three Qatari and two Iranians hunting the Houbara Bustard in the region.
An earlier arrest in Fars Province involved 70 Qatar nationals engaged in illegal hunting in the province.