Iran to ratify the landmark Paris agreement on climate change only if sanctions against it are lifted
Ali Salajegheh said sanctions were impeding Iran in areas like renewable energy.
Iran is the world’s eighth largest CO2 emitter, yet is one of the few countries not to ratify the Paris pact.
Emissions have soared in recent years as overseas investments in renewable energy have collapsed.
The government has also violently suppressed protests about water shortages.
“Iran has been impacted by climate change like every other place in the world,” said Mr Salajegheh.
“This has reduced our rainfall per annum and also the inflow of water into our rivers has reduced by 40% this has affected our agriculture and affected our industrial and drinking water.”
However, Iran has been criticised for damaging its own water supply by drilling over a million wells and building around 700 dams.
On the issue of the Paris climate agreement, Mr Salajegheh said the pact had to be a “two-way street.”
“When you have oppressive sanctions in force it does not allow for any kind of imports even medicine which is a human fundamental right,” he said.
“If the sanctions are removed, then we have a commitment towards the international community, it is at that time that they can transfer modern technology and finance to us especially in the area of renewable energy so we can modernise our deteriorating infrastructure,” he told BBC News.