the 10-day deadline set by UNESCO to decrease
height of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp's
Jahan-Nama Tower in Isfahan, which is under
construction at Naqsh-e Jahan Square, no measures
have yet been taken to the effect.
In its former meeting in Paris, UNESCO warned Iran
that if the process of construction within the
precincts of Naqsh-e Jahan Square is not halted,
it will be removed from the list of global
historical heritage and will be placed on the list
of cultural heritage sites threatened by
The project got underway as a cultural and
commercial complex, adjacent to the historical
Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Chahar-Bagh and other
ancient monuments in 1996.
The type of architecture, height and width of the
tower under construction, marked by its sharp
contrast to the ancient urban structure of Isfahan,
prompted the UNESCO experts in their inspection of
the site to express concern over the project.
However, cutting the tower's height -- initially
planned to be 58 meters high -- by destroying its
upper floors is quite complicated.
In its last session in Beijing in early summer
2004, UNESCO urged the Iranian cultural heritage
officials to comply with the specified
requirements by February 1, 2005.
Isfahan's Cultural Heritage and Tourism
Organization declared that a judicial verdict is
expected on the issue, despite the assurance of
the city council members and Isfahan Municipality
that they would not allow any foreign institution
to make decisions about the city.
Head of Isfahan City Council Abbas Haji Rasouliha
had earlier said that this is neither the concern
of Isfahan Municipality nor that of the city
According to him, given that the construction
license of the building was issued in 1996, the
current municipality and city council are not
authorized to decide about its destruction.
Iran's Human Rights Defenders Association had
earlier filed a complaint against Jahan-Nama
contractors with Isfahan Justice Department and
the verdict on halting the project had been
issued, which has not yet been carried out.
Spokesman of Iran's Human Rights Defenders
Association Mohammad Dadkhah told IRNA that as the
administrator of urban affairs Isfahan
Municipality has to safeguard the city's status.
"Though Bench No. 38 of Isfahan Public Court
has issued a verdict on halting the construction
of Jahan-Nama tower and adjusting it, Isfahan
Municipality has not fulfilled its legal task, but
has taken measures against it," he added.
He noted that according to Rome diplomatic treaty,
even the warring governments have no right to
trespass the realm of historical and cultural
heritage of other countries.
"Among the ancient monuments of post-Islamic
era, Naqsh-e Jahan Square is the only one that has
been registered by UNESCO as a global cultural
heritage. This makes the responsibility of
Isfahan's municipal officials more
sensitive," concluded Dadkhah.
Deputy head of Iran's Cultural Heritage and
Tourism Organization for legal, international and
Majlis affairs, Taha Hashemi, said that despite
the rich historical background of Iran, only six
ancient monuments have been registered by UNESCO
as the global cultural heritage.
"This is while Brazil with a history less
than 800 years old has already registered 29
ancient monuments in the UNESCO list of the global
"Not only no effort has been made by the
officials in charge of cultural affairs to
register more of Iran's historical-cultural sites
as the world heritage, but today a wrong decision
may result in removal of the monument in question
from the UNESCO list," he concluded.