The world second saltiest lake, Lake Urmu, is at the centre of a microclimatic system of one-third of Azerbaijan. Should the Iranian government fail it duties and not restore the lake by allowing it to die, the heart of Azerbaijan will die too. Now, I do not have time to mourn the loss of unique ecosystems including the loss of respites for the migratory birds, as my focus is on saving the lives of some 15 million Azerbaijanis, who are evidently undermined by the Iranian state.
My expert hydrologists are telling me that Lake Urmu is a closed system. Here the annual cycle of inflows from rainfalls are balanced with the outflows as evaporation. They tell me that rainfall patterns may be changing but their annual amounts are more or less constant. In fact, if the inflow amounts are not increasing, they are unlikely to be decreasing. We rule out the climate change effect and the proof is Lake Van in Turkey only 200 km away. We all know that the inflow to Lake Urmu has reached nearly zero due to a numerous damming projects by the Iranian authorities. Our people protested against these dam-building projects but hundreds of the protesters were arrested and the Azerbaijani cities of Urmu and Tebriz were militarised and securitised. Many of these were imprisoned under the pretext of being pan-Turkists separatists and propaganda against the holy Islamic system. It looks that, if you call yourself as sovereign government, you can get away with anything. But I question, do we live in the 21st century?
I want to remind you an article in New Scientist by Jeff Hecht. This was written after the election of President Rouhani and informed the international science readers that “Iran will spend $500 million to save shrunken Lake Urmia” (https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25850-iran-to-spend-500-million-to-save-shrunken-lake-urmia/) on 4 July 2014. We have checked that by the internet search and now believe that this is name a hoax and above all this celebrated budget allocation is also a hoax. Mr. Ehmed Elirza Beygi, the MP for Tabriz, has just given the statement that “the restoration of Lake Urmu is not on the high priority action plan of the government.” He informs us that “the allocated budget was spent on research” I hasten to add that research for the sake of research. He adds that “as well as for foreign travels, and in the conclusion they confirmed the plan in the past.” “From now on, the government is stressing that they will not be able to do anything.”
My expert hydrologists are telling me that and now I hope you agree with me that this tragedy is a deliberate act. Because Lake Urmu is a closed system, it can be restored. I respectfully ask the UN the following:
- Start hard talk with the Iranian authorities and mention them that they know the cause for their policy is a racial one and it is unacceptable to the International community.
- Tell the Iranian authorities to stop issuing contradictory plans,
- Stop the talk parties and allow the international expertise
- The region requires a basin management plan and a water cycle studies
- As an immediate measure, start dewatering the dams and then implement trans-catchment diversions to the Lake Urmu basins