TEHRAN - Iranian authorities are restricting cars from entering downtown Tehran and have ordered nursery schools to stay closed on Thursday due to high pollution levels, state television announced Wednesday.
"After an alert of several days on the trot, the anti-air pollution committee has decided to adopt these measures until Friday," Mohammad Hassan Pirasteh, spokesman for an information centre on pollution, said.
The centre said absence of wind and stable climatic conditions had increased the amount of carbon monoxide in the air to three times the safe levels in some parts of Tehran.
On Thursday, only cars with plates ending with an odd number will be allowed into a 150-square-kilometre (60-square-mile) area of central Tehran, and the opposite will apply on Friday.
However, the measure is not expected to have much impact because the Muslim weekend in Iran falls on those two days.
Car exhausts are the main case of the pollution. Battered vehicles more than 20 years old are a common sight in Tehran and cars are not fitted with catalytic convertors.