Iranian general blames water shortages on Israel 'stealing rain from clouds’
An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander has accused Israel of exacerbating the Islamic republic’s water shortage problems by “stealing the rain” from clouds that pass over the Mediterranean Sea.
The negative impacts of climate change were the “unnatural result of foreign influence”, civil defence organisation head Brigadier General Gholam Ridha Jalali told an audience at an agricultural conference in Tehran, citing unnamed Iranian scientific research centres.
Israel and an unnamed other country were cooperating to extract moisture from weather systems as they moved over the Mediterranean, he said, thus making clouds “barren” by “stealing the rain and snow” which is not reaching Iran’s highlands as it should.
The comments were picked up by semi-official Iranian news agency Isna and Tasnim News, as well as Israeli media.
The commander’s remarks were quickly disputed by the director general of Iran’s official meteorological organisation, however, who told the Iranian Students' News Agency it was impossible for any country to steal rain or clouds.
Jalali's theory has been voiced in the past by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who in a 2012 speech also linked Iran’s environmental problems to colonisation and “the enemy destroying the clouds moving towards our country”.