Environmental Protesters Arrested in Iran
Parliament revokes funding for lake
More than two dozen protesters were arrested in Iran this week as hundreds fought a decision by Iran's Majlis parliament that could further deplete an endangered salt lake. Located in northwestern Iran, Urmia is the world's third-largest saltwater lake, but has shrunk by as much as 60 percent as the Iranian government has dammed the rivers that feed it. Last year, Iran allocated money to redistribute water in an attempt to save the lake, but reversed that decision last week, drawing protesters into the streets of Tabriz. Riot police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. The lake is a critical economic resource in East Azerbaijan Province, and is home to flamingos and other water birds despite a salt content greater than the Dead Sea.
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