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Heavy Air Pollution Shuts Schools, Universities in Parts of Iran

Air pollution blankets the skyline in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 30, 2019.

Schools and universities have been shut in parts of Iran, including the capital, Tehran, because of high levels of pollution, state media reported Saturday.

The decision was announced late Friday by Deputy Governor Mohammad Taghizadeh, after a meeting of an emergency committee for air pollution.

"Due to increased air pollution, kindergartens, preschools and schools, universities, and higher education institutes of Tehran province will be closed," Taghizadeh was quoted by official government news agency IRNA as saying.

Schools in the capital will also be closed Sunday, Taghizadeh said.

"Having examined the index of pollutants in Tehran ... it was decided for all schools to be closed tomorrow in Tehran province, except for the counties of Firuzkuh, Damavand and Pardis," he said.

The young, elderly and people with respiratory illnesses were warned to stay indoors, and all sports activities were suspended Saturday.

Tehran has suffered from dangerous levels of pollution and smog since mid-November.

Schools were also closed in the northern province of Alborz and in the central province of Esfahan, IRNA reported, citing officials.

Other areas where schools were shut included the northeastern city of Mashhad, the northwestern city of Orumiyeh and Qom, south of Tehran.

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