TEHRAN, Iran (AA) – Most government offices, universities and schools across Iran remained closed Sunday amid an intense cold wave sweeping the country and a shortage of gas supplies.
The sharp drop in temperatures in recent weeks, including in the capital Tehran, has led to an unprecedented increase in energy consumption.
Officials say the move is aimed at managing the consumption of gas to ensure no shortage of gas supplies for households and emergency services.
According to Iran’s oil ministry, gas consumption in the country has surged by 30% this year compared to last winter, which prompted authorities to close down offices and educational institutions.
Only one-third of the number of branches of each bank in Tehran province remained open Sunday as per the order of the provincial governor and school and university classes were held online.
During a meeting with officials of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) on Sunday, President Ebrahim Raisi called for measures to prevent a massive outage of gas across the country.
He said, however, that the closure of government offices was not the “ideal solution” to the problem of gas shortages, stressing that the top priority is to deliver gas to households.