Lake Urmia in the north west of Iran is drying up. Some blame drought. Others global warming; Others aggressive agricultural policies. The locals view the shrinking lake as a disaster, especially farmers and those who live off tourism, and whatever the cause, they believe the government should be able to do something. So last week there were protests in the region’s capital, Tabriz. They were put down fairly forcefully by the authorities who say its global warming – i.e. out of their hands. Behind the lake there is also race. Most of the people in this region are Azeri, Turks, and those who like fanciful conspiracy theories have been saying the dying lake is a part of some sinister plot to empty the area of Azeris.
• Wisdom for experts to know how best to restore the lake
• Locals whose lives depend on the lake
• The racial element of the dispute to be eliminated