TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Monday criticized Turkey's construction of dams upstream from Syria and Iraq, saying such projects can be "dangerous" for the whole region.
He did not name Turkey, but appeared to be referring to several dams built by Turkey on the Tigris and Euphrates in recent decades. Turkey has water sharing agreements with both Syria and Iraq, but disagreements arise from time to time.
"Many of these sorts of activities should be stopped," Rouhani said. "Construction of dams without sufficient studies can be dangerous for the future of the region," he added, without elaborating.
He was speaking at a conference on preventing or minimizing sandstorms. Experts have linked the storms, which afflict Iran's capital and other regions, to upstream dam projects.
Turkey has built 19 dams on the two rivers and has plans for three more.
Iran is a close ally of both Iraq and Syria. Iran and Turkey support opposite sides in Syria's civil war.