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In the past, Iranian tourists flocked to Lake Urmia, near the Turkish border, to enjoy its natural beauty and the renowned restorative properties of the mineral-rich mud.
Lake Urmia was Iran's main tourist resort before the water level began to drop in 1995 due to severe drought, agricultural development and the construction of dams in the tributaries of the lake. Today, the lake shore presents a depressing picture – coastal hotels and guest houses were left hundreds of meters from the shoreline.
Within 20 years, the lake had shrunk to about 10% of its previous size, and red algae had bloomed in what was left of the water.Tourists stopped coming, and many residents left, leaving boats and buildings slowly collapsing in the resulting salt flats.
Locals blame the disappearance of the lake on the authorities.
parliament orders to finish him off”, — shouted some protesters at a small demonstration in the regional capital, also called Urmia, on Saturday, — Iranian media write.
The region's police chief described the demonstrators as hostile and said they intended to violate public security.
In recent years, Iranian authorities have tried to restore Lake Urmia to its former state focusing on convincing farmers in the region to plant less water-demanding crops.
But last week, the provincial governor acknowledged that the government's actions had not had the desired effect and that if Lake Urmia was not saved, there would be irreparable damage has been done to the environment.
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