Iranian authorities ordered elementary schools in Tehran to close on December 14, due to an alarming rise in air pollution levels in the city. For a long time, environmentalists had been warning about the increasing air pollution levels in the city. "I hope parents will advice their children to stay at home and do their homework," said Hussein Mozaffar, the education minister of Iran.
Earlier, the government had warned people, especially the elderly and those suffering from allergies and children, to stay away from central Tehran as pollution levels had gone "beyond dangerous levels". Environmentalists say that this situation had been created primarily by old vehicles which do not have catalytic converters.