Iran says the destruction of Mesopotamian wetlands is a major cause of sand and dust storms in Iran. Iranian officials dealing with that country’s growing problem with dust storms say Turkish control over the Tigris and Euphrates has led to the destruction of 90 percent of Iraqi wetlands, which in turn has caused dust storms to blow into Iran.

The report adds that 95 percent of dust storms in Iran begin outside of the country, with the other five per cent originating in the Ilam, Sistan-Baluchistan and Khuzestan provinces.

Unregulated grazing by livestock and a general lack of foresight in exploiting natural resources have also been named as factors in the growing incidence of droughts, floods, dust storms and desertification in Iran.