TEHRAM - An official of the Iranian Army has raised eyebrows by accusing the country's arch rival Israel of "stealing" its clouds.
The senior military officer announced that the changing weather pattern in the country is because Israel is preventing clouds from entering Iran and releasing rain therein.
Yes, you read it right. This is not an extract from a science fiction.
On Monday, addressing a press conference Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, head of Iran 's Civil Defense Organisation, said the changing weather pattern in the country is "suspect".
"Foreign interference is suspected to have played a role in climate change. Israel and another country in the region have joint teams which work to ensure clouds entering Iranian skies are unable to release rain," news agency ISNA quoted him as saying.
He also claimed that scientific studies in Iran have "confirmed" this.
"On top of that, we are facing the issue of cloud and snow theft," Jalali added, citing a survey showing that above 2,200 meters all mountainous areas between Afghanistan and the Mediterranean are covered in snow, except Iran , Arutz Sheva, an Israeli news organisation said in report.
However, to the embarrassment of the Iranian military officer, the meteorological department of Iran has contradicted him.
Ahad Vazife, head of Iran 's meteorological department, told ISNA, "It is not possible for any country to steal snow or clouds." He added that probably Brigadier General Jalali "has documents of which I am not aware".
He said the prolonged droughts in Iran is not unusual and is part of a global trend. "Raising such questions not only does not solve any of our problems, but will deter us from finding the right solutions", he added, in apparent reference to Jalali's claims.