A general view taken from a vantage point in the north of Tehran shows the capital covered in smog on December 3, 2012. AFP PHOTO/STR
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More than two weeks of heavy pollution led Iranian officials to ban all outdoor sport and impose new traffic restrictions Wednesday as persistent cold weather exacerbated Tehran's air quality problems.Tehran's air quality index averaged 159 on Wednesday, up two from the previous day, and more than three times the World Health Organization's maximum advised level of between zero and 50 .Two permanent zones of traffic restrictions introduced in 1979 and 2005 have failed to rectify Tehran's poor air quality.In 2012, pollution contributed to the premature deaths of 4,500 people in Tehran and about 80,000 in the country, the health ministry said.
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