Pity the average Iranian: Not only are they citizens of a nation where significant conservative and religious elements play a leading role in governance; double-digit inflation has eroded savings; and women have seen their place in society significantly diminished over the past 40 years, Iranians are living in what, at present, is about as close to hell-like conditions as exist on Earth.
Temperatures in the Middle Eastern nation have soared to nearly 160 degrees Fahrenheit, thanks to a recent heat wave.
In Iran’s city of Bandar Mahshahr the heat index last week was among the highest ever recorded, at 163 degrees.
A group of astonished weather experts believe the country could be enduring some of the hottest urban temperatures ever endured by mankind, according to The Telegraph.
“That was one of the most incredible temperature observations I have ever seen and it is one of the most extreme readings ever in the world,” AccuWeather meteorologist Anthony Sagliani said in a statement.
The heat index in Bandar Mahshahr were just a few degrees lower than the highest-ever recorded heat index, which was 178 Fahrenheit, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in July 2003.
The heat forced officials in nearby Iraq to call a four-day public holiday because it was too hot to work, the result of a “heat dome” that is leaving the Middle East sweltering.
“A strong ridge of high pressure has persisted over the Middle East through much of July, resulting in the extreme heat wave in what many would consider one of the hottest places in the world,” Sagliani said.
The dome is a type of high pressure ridge and has exacerbated electricity and water supply issues, adding to the miserable conditions, according to The Telegraph.
By comparison, the hottest temperature ever recorded in the United States is a relatively balmy 134 degrees Fahrenheit, in Death Valley, Calif., on July 10, 1913. No word on what the heat index was on that day more than a century ago.
(Top: Graphic showing temperatures in the Middle East late last week.)