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Iran Denies Chinese Involvement In Lake Urmia Lithium Extraction

Iran’s Environment Department has denied any involvement of the Chinese in lithium extraction from Lake Urmia.

This follows the circulation of images on social media depicting trucks on the desiccated lakebed. The Director of Environmental Protection in West Azarbaijan, Saeed Shahand, has claimed that the activities in question solely pertain to “salt extraction, not lithium.”

Earlier reports had said that Chinese companies were acquiring brine from Lake Urmia with the aim of obtaining valuable lithium, which can be used to support the country’s nuclear program.

However, officials allege that the lake lacks lithium, underscoring the ongoing authorized extraction of salt from specific areas.

Shahand affirmed that the extraction of salt from Lake Urmia has been a long-standing practice, spanning years, claiming that it has not led to any adverse environmental consequences in authorized areas.

Researchers have sounded a cautionary note, warning about the potential repercussions of salt extraction and disturbance to the lakebed. Pertinent questions have been raised regarding research into the impact of salt compounds in Lake Urmia on plants, humans, and agricultural fields.

The ongoing drying of Lake Urmia, once the region’s largest lake, is causing growing concern among environmental experts who fear its far-reaching effects on various regions of Iran in terms of both environmental and human impacts.

 

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