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Green Group in Drive to Clean Caspian Beaches

BANDAR ANZALI, Iran, August 30, 1999 - Hundreds of Iranian volunteers combed the picturesque beaches of the Caspian Sea in the first major cleanup launched by Iran's environmentalist Green Front.

The volunteers picked up tonnes of litter along Iran's 740 km (460 miles) of Caspian coastline, a favourite holiday destination for millions of Iranians.

Pollution in the region also poses a threat to the world's gastronomes, threatening the habitat of sturgeon which produce caviar.

"This drive is just a symbolic action to raise consciousness about environmental issues," said Siamak Moattari, head of Green Front, a non-governmental organisation set up in 1988.