A general view shows a blanket of smog as the winter's heavy pollution hit new heights in Tehran, on December 19, 2017. (AFP / ATTA KENARE)
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Iranian authorities are scrambling to stem a growing crisis over air pollution in the province that produces a major share of the country's oil, showing a sensitivity to people's demands not visible before anti-government protests raged this month. A yellow smog has enveloped the southwestern Khuzestan region ever since a severe dust storm struck Friday, shutting schools and offices and prompting criticism of the administration across local media. So far, 1,530 people have been hospitalized with breathing problems, according to state-run television.Residents of the province backed Rouhani during last year's presidential campaign, state TV anchor Reza Rashidpour told him in the live segment on the problem.The region also suffered badly during Iran's eight-year war with neighboring Iraq in the '80s.
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