Mohammad-Javad Mohammadizadeh, Vice President and Head of Environmental Protection Organization of Iran, said Iranian government is trying hard to save Lake Urmia.
“Currently one third of Lake Urmia is remained and this is because of the long term neglecting from governments. We can restore the lost parts of this lake which needs at least 5 years. Series of factors such as climate change, rising costs and lack of balance are among harmful effects on the life of lake Urmia.” Mohammad-Javad Mohammadizadeh said.
Lake Urmia is a salt lake in northwestern Iran, near Iran’s border with Turkey. The lake is between the Iranian provinces of East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan, west of the southern portion of the similarly shaped Caspian Sea. It is the largest lake in the Middle East, and the third largest salt water lake on earth, with a surface area of approximately 5,200 km² (2,000 mile²), 140 km (87 mi) length, 55 km (34 mi) width, and 16 m (52 ft) depth. Lake Urmia is protected as a “National Park” by the Iranian Department of Environment.
From March 2010, a series of protests and rallies demanding take action to save Lake Urmia was held in Iranian Azerbaijan which turned into politic crisis in the region. Dozens of protesters have been detained over holding such peaceful demonstrations.