Ahwaz residents took to the streets on Friday January 30 to protest the lack of any effective government action to combat the previous day’s dust storm, which pushed the concentration of air particles to more than 66 times the acceptable level.

Iranian media did not cover the demonstration, but the public posted a number of reports and photos of the demonstration on social media with demonstrators saying “Clean Air is our Absolute Right!”.

On Friday, the air in Ahwaz remained filled with dust. The Environment Department reported that until 2 PM, dust levels were at 3,477 micrograms per cubic meter, which is 25 times more than the highest acceptable level.

Other Khuzestan cities have also been languishing in dust pollution slightly lower than Ahwaz levels. Reports indicate that the high dust levels in Abadan, Dezfool and Dasht-e Azadegan have finally subsided.

Most people complained that the authorities had failed to inform the public of the serious air-quality conditions in a timely manner.

The government has allotted 550 billion toumans to handle the problems posed by dust particles. Last year, 17 Khuzestan representatives resigned in protest against the inadequate budgets for this problem.