Iranian women wear masks for protection against air pollution as they make their way on a street in northern Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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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.In the worst concerted period of pollution for three years, primary schools and nurseries were closed and new car exclusion zones imposed in the capital.Tehran's air quality index averaged 159 Wednesday, up two from the previous day, and more than three times the World Health Organization's advised maximum of between zero and 50 . Exhaust fumes from the 5 million cars and almost as many motorcycles on Tehran's roads account for 80 percent of its pollution, officials say.
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