More than two dozen ethnic Azeris have been arrested after environmental protests in north-western Iran. It comes after protests in the city of Tabriz over what is claimed to be Tehran’s failure to take measures to save nearby Lake Oroumieh.
With a surface area of more than 5,000 kilometres, is the third largest saltwater lake in the world and home to an abundance of wildlife. It lies between the country’s provinces of East and West Azerbaijan.
But 60 percent of the lake has evaporated, leaving behind 10 million tonnes of salt. It is said to be a result of drought and poor management policies, but there is disagreement over who exactly bears responsibility – locals, or the Iranian authorities.
Local businesses are dependant on tourism – and this is also draining away.