Iran abstained in the UN vote to declare a clean environment a human right

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Iran was among a few countries to abstain from voting on a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly declaring that every human being on earth has the right to a healthy environment.

In a resolution passed Thursday morning at the UN headquarters in New York City, the General Assembly identified climate change and environmental degradation as some of the most pressing threats facing humanity’s future and called on states to step up efforts to ensure that their populations have access to a “clean, healthy, and sustainable environment.”

About 161 countries voted in favor of the resolution and only eight countries abstained, including Iran, Russia and China.

“This resolution sends the message that no one can take nature, clean air and water or a stable climate from us – at least not without a fight,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

The move followed a similar vote by the UN Human Rights Council, which declared in April that access to a “clean, healthy and sustainable environment” is a human right.

In early July, sandstorms and dangerously polluted air prompted the closure of schools and some government offices in the Iranian capital, Tehran, as well as several other cities across the country.

Tehran was registered as the most polluted city in the world in April with dangerous air quality and very poor visibility, mainly due to the very high concentration of particles in the air. The capital‘s pollution is mainly attributed to poor government policies, desertification and low water levels, and climate change, which has intensified sandstorms.

Besides the The use of highly polluting diesel and mazut fuels in power plants has skyrocketed in Iran in 2021 in addition to increases in previous years.

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