The onset of extremely high temperatures in parts of Iran might lead to electricity shortages, the interior minister has warned, ordering conservation.
In Iran's southeastern oil-rich province of Khuzestan, temperatures are expected to hit 49 degrees Celsius (120 F) on Sunday and Monday. The governor of the province has ordered office work hours to be reduced to 12:00 noon.
The extreme heat will also affect other southern regions, with work hours reduced from west to east across southern Iran.
Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced on Saturday, July 6 that those businesses which do not set their air conditioners to 25 C (77 F) will be denied electricity after 1:00 pm. He reiterated that the implementation of the decision has been coordinated with the Ministry of Energy.
Central and southern Iran have been facing severe heat waves during summer in recent years, which leads to high usage of air conditioning and electricity shortages. Drought in recent years reduced hydroelectric power generation, which compounded the problem.
This year, torrential rains and floods have replenished water reservoirs, but concerns about the shortage of electricity persist.