Iranian General accuses Israel of 'cloud theft'

He claims Israel has stopped clouds that can release rain from entering his country


An Iranian general has accused Israel of manipulating the weather to prevent rain over the Islamic Republic and alleging his country was facing cloud “theft”.

Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, head of Iran’s Civil Defence Organisation, told a press conference that scientific results from a study showed how “Israel and another country in the region have joint teams which work to ensure clouds entering Iranian skies are unable to release rain”.

The bizarre claim emerged as the General attempted to calm mounting anger on the streets and violent protests in southern Iranian cities over polluted drinking water, as temperatures reach above 50 C.

Brigadier General Jalali also claimed that Iran was now facing “the issue of cloud and snow theft” as he displayed a survey which apparently showed snow in other mountainous regions – but not in Iran.

It is not the first time that Iranian leaders have accused the country’s enemies of stealing its rain.

In 2011, then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Western countries of devising plans to “cause drought” in Iran, adding that “European countries used special equipment to force clouds to dump” their water on their continent.

In a video last month addressed to Iranians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to share his country’s water expertise with Iran, saying: “The Iranian people are victims of a cruel and tyrannical regime that denies them vital water.”

Mr Netanyahu said that Israel faced similar water issues and found ways of dealing with them, adding that Israeli technology can help the Iranians.

The head of Iran’s meteorological service Ahad Vazife also hit out at General Jalali’s claims on Monday of “cloud theft”.

He said the General “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.”

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