Schools and offices closed in Tehran due to sandstorm in Iran

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TEHRAN, Iran – Schools and government offices in the Iranian capital and elsewhere in the country were closed Tuesday due to another sandstorm, state TV reported.

According to the report, air quality is very poor and pollution from dust and sand is high. It was the third severe sandstorm in Iran since mid-April.

Last week, authorities closed schools in Tehran and other provinces due to similar sandstorms, but for the first time in Tehran, government offices were closed on Tuesday due to the sandstorm.

Tehran is one of the most polluted cities in the world. In the west of the country, along the Iraqi border, schools and offices have been closed frequently due to sandstorms. On Monday, dozens of flights were canceled or delayed at an airport in western Iran.

In neighboring Iraq, sandstorms – at least eight since April – have landed in thousands of hospitals with severe respiratory problems and killed at least one person. In Syria, a storm has killed at least three people on the Iraqi border.

Experts have blamed weak government policy, desertification and low water levels, as well as climate change, for the frequency and severity of recent sandstorms.

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