An Iranian general accused Israel of manipulating the weather over the Islamic Republic, claiming on Monday the Jewish state was stealing clouds and snow and contributing to climate change.
Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali made the remarks while speaking at a conference on agriculture in Tehran, where he claimed Iranian scientific centers have confirmed a foreign role in the drought conditions across the country.
"Foreign interference is suspected to have played a role in climate change," Jalali said, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency. “Joint teams from Israel and one of the neighboring countries make the clouds entering into Iran barren. Moreover, we are faced with the cases of cloud theft and snow theft."
The semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported Jalali boasted a study carried out over the past four years analyzing the climate of high altitudes from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean Sea has shown that all heights above 7,200 feet have snow -- except in Iran.
While the general was quick to point a finger directly at Israel, the country's own meteorological service downplayed his claims.
The head of Iran’s meteorological service, Ahad Vazife, was quoted by ISNA as saying Iran has suffered a "prolonged drought" that's part of a "global trend."
Ahad Vazife said that Jalali “probably has documents of which I am not aware, but on the basis of meteorological knowledge, it is not possible for a country to steal snow or clouds."
“Raising such questions not only does not solve any of our problems, but will deter us from finding the right solutions,” he added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Iranians that Israel faced similar water issues and found ways of dealing with them, adding Israeli technology can help the Iranians.
Netanyahu offered to share Israel’s water expertise with Iran, saying “the Iranian people are victims of a cruel and tyrannical regime that denies them vital water," according to the Times of Israel.