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MP: Iran's Ecosystem Gravely Harmed by US-led Invasions of Iraq

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, March 16 (ICANA) – A member of the Iranian parliament stressed that the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) attacks on Iraq as well as the first Persian Gulf war in 1991 have left devastating impacts on the environment and ecosystem of Iran's Southwestern province of Khuzestan.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 9:31:04 AM
MP: Iran's Ecosystem Gravely Harmed by US-led Invasions of Iraq

Addressing a conference on 'Islamic Unity and National Convergence' in the provincial capital city of Ahvaz on Monday evening, member of the parliament's Energy Commission Nasser Sudani warned about the continued threats posed to the environment and ecosystem of Iran's border towns and provinces in Southwestern country by the NATO invasions of Iraq during the last two decades.

"The NATO invasion of Iraq has left negative impacts on Khuzestan's environment and ecosystem, including air and soil pollution and radiation,"

Also, some recent medical reports indicated that cancer is spreading like wildfire in Iraq. Thousands of infants are being born with deformities. Doctors say they are struggling to cope with the rise of cancer and birth defects, specially in cities subjected to heavy American and British bombardment.

Dr Ahmad Hardan, who served as a special scientific adviser to the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the Iraqi Ministry of Health, says that there is scientific evidence linking depleted uranium to cancer and birth defects.

"Children with congenital anomalies are subjected to karyotyping and chromosomal studies with complete genetic back-grounding and clinical assessment. Family and obstetrical histories are taken too. These international studies have produced ample evidence to show that depleted uranium has disastrous consequences," he said

Also the Iraqi doctors say cancer cases increased after both the 1991 war and the 2003 invasion.

Abdulhaq Al-Ani, author of "Uranium in Iraq" recently reiterated that the incubation period for depleted uranium is five to six years, which is consistent with the spike in cancer rates in 1996-1997 and 2008-2009.

Not everyone is ready to draw a direct correlation between allied bombing of these areas and tumors, and the Pentagon has been skeptical of any attempts to link the two. But Iraqi doctors and some Western scholars say the massive quantities of depleted uranium used in U.S. and British bombs, and the sharp increase in cancer rates are not unconnected.

In Falluja, which was heavily bombarded by the US in 2004, as many as 25% of newborn infants have serious abnormalities, including congenital anomalies, brain tumors, and neural tube defects in the spinal cord.

The cancer rate in the province of Babil, south of Baghdad has risen from 500 diagnosed cases in 2004 to 9,082 in 2009.

The water, soil and air in large areas of Iraq, including Baghdad, are contaminated with depleted uranium that has a radioactive half-life of 4.5 billion years.

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