Yes, you read that right. Iran is accusing Israel of stealing its weather, presumably to induce or prolong the country’s long-running drought.
During a press conference, Iran’s Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali raised questions about the weather in his country, saying that “The changing climate in Iran is suspect… Foreign interference is suspected to have played a role in climate change.” The General further elaborated, as detailed by the Metro.
“Israel and another country in the region have joint teams which work to ensure clouds entering Iranian skies are unable to release rain… On top of that, we are facing the issue of cloud and snow theft.”
Apparently, other countries including Afghanistan and in the Mediterranean all have snow in their mountains above 7,200 feet, except for in Iran. This information was based on a four-year study that took note of the weather in the highlands, according to Newsweek.
However, Iran’s director general of the Weather Forecast and Early Warning Office at Iran’s Meteorological Organization isn’t backing the General’s claims. Ahad Vazife said that “Perhaps [the General and others] have documents in this regard, and I’m not in the pipeline, but based on meteorological information, there is no possibility that a country will steal snow or clouds.”
Vazife also warned that these accusations “not only fails to solve any of our problems, but distracts us from finding the correct solutions.”
Back in 2012, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made similar accusations. Ahmadinejad said that the drought was “partly unintentional due to industry and partly intentional, as a result of the enemy destroying the clouds moving towards our country and this is a war that Iran is going to overcome.”
The idea of using technology to affect the weather is not new, as Iran’s military has previously worked on “cloud-seeding operations” in order to reverse the effects of the drought on the country.
Cloud-seeding is not specific to Iran only. There are several states in America that are debating or using the technology. For example in North Dakota, Hettinger County has been manipulating the weather for years now. However, the state’s attorney Roza Larson is seeking the end of the North Dakota Cloud Modification Project.
Larson said that “Our goal is to end weather modification in North Dakota all together (sic). It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars and it’s causing harm to the citizens,” according to the Tri-State Livestock News.
For now, the Iranian General’s claims have yet to be substantiated, but it reflects the ongoing political tensions between Iran and Israel.