Only Euro-5-compliant vehicles will be registered as of March 2019, the head of the Department of Environment said.
“Since 2014-15, the government only allows vehicles with Euro-4-compliant engines to be registered and this will continue until 2019-20 when the emission standards will be raised to Euro-5,” Massoumeh Ebtekar was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The move is in line with efforts to reduce air pollution in Iran’s metropolises.
Ebtekar, who is also a vice president, said a total of 7 million cars and motorcycles ply the streets of Iran’s polluted capital, Tehran.
“It will be a disaster if these vehicles don’t meet minimum emission standards,” she warned.
In line with plans to reduce air pollution, Euro-4 standard fuel is distributed in 15 metropolises and 10 provincial capitals. The government is targeting nationwide distribution by 2020.
A comprehensive scheme was devised in 2000 to effectively rein in air pollution in Tehran and other metropolises, but the plan was shelved by the government of former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As a result, air pollution turned into a major environmental issue in the summer of 2013, when the present administration came to power.
The plan called for removing old and dilapidated gas-guzzlers off the roads, implementing measures for collecting toxic gasoline vapors at filling stations, promoting compressed natural gas as a cleaner and cheaper fuel, expanding the number of CNG stations and conducting mandatory vehicle inspections, among other things. Along with efforts to increase gasoline quality, President Hassan Rouhani’s administration has instructed automakers to make products that comply with Euro-4 emission standards.
The government banned the production of highly-polluting, carburetor-equipped motorcycles from September 2016 and is urging people to opt for eco-friendly electric motorbikes.
Acknowledging the non-stop efforts of authorities on standardization of vehicles, Ebtekar said, “We expect the Oil Ministry to produce Euro-5 or better quality fuel.”
DOE has declared that Iran’s seemingly unending struggle with air pollution costs the people about $30 billion a year, nearly double the $16 billion reported by the World Health Organization in 2014.
With 26,000 annual deaths due to air pollution, Iran ranks 16th in terms of air pollution-related deaths, according to figures released by WHO.