Iran Cautions About Dire Impacts of Ukraine Dam Collapse on Environmental Protection
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana'ani expressed deep concern over the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in in Kherson Region in Southern Ukraine, and warned against the humanitarian, environmental as well as economic ramifications of the catastrophic destruction of the hydroelectric power plant.
The Kakhovka dam was partially ruptured on Tuesday, causing flooding in multiple towns and villages along the Dnieper River, prompting evacuations for thousands of people and fears for large-scale devastation. Kyiv and Moscow have traded accusations over the dam's destruction.
Kana'ani on Thursday described the dam destruction in Ukraine as a horrible act, expressing profound concern about the humanitarian, environmental and economic repercussions of the act.
The senior diplomat stressed the need for an investigation into the dimensions of the incident and the ascertain of the primary cause of the disaster.
The spokesman reiterated Iran's firm stance against the war in between Russia and Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and the endangerment of human lives.
Kana'ani called upon all warring parties to abide by internationally recognized principles, which include safeguarding the lives of civilians and alleviating their suffering.
At least 600 square kilometers (232 square miles) of Kherson region has been flooded following the dam collapse, according to a regional military commander. Thousands of people have now been evacuated from the “danger zone”. The extent of the ecological and humanitarian impact of the destroyed dam is yet to be determined.
Ukrainian officials and their European backers have accused Russia of blowing up the dam.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam is "absolutely deliberate", calling the collapse of the dam an act of “mass environmental destruction”.
Describing the explosion that destroyed the dam as a deliberate and chaotic act by Russia, Zelensky stated that the dam was blown up in a bid to “use the flood as a weapon” to hamper Ukrainian forces. He stressed that the attack on such critical infrastructure would not alter Ukraine’s plans to retake territory from Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, accused Ukraine and its Western backers of gambling on a path of dangerous escalation.
Speaking to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by phone on Wednesday, the Russian head of state cited as an example the “barbaric act of destroying the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant in Kherson region".
According to Putin, this has led to a “massive ecological and humanitarian catastrophe” downstream.
The president added that Ukraine is “committing war crimes [and] is openly using terrorist methods”, including on Russian soil. All of these are being aided and abetted by Western powers, Putin added.
Russia sent troops to Ukraine in February 2022, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass and Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-2015 Minsk peace accords. Putin stated that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.
The US, the EU, the UK and a number of other states have imposed sanctions against Russian legal entities and individuals. Russia has officially become the most sanctioned country in the world, surpassing Iran, Syria and North Korea, after launching a military operation against Ukraine. They also increased supplies of weapons to the Ukrainian authorities.