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Final Date of Sivand Dam Inundation to be Announced Soon


04 December 2006




LONDON, (CAIS - Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav) -- While some cultural heritage experts and archaeologists still believe and archaeological evidence speak for itself that archaeological activities must continue at the historic site of Bolaghi Valley, excavations were stopped in this ancient site and the final date of inundation of the nearby Sivand Dam will be announced upon next week.


Authorities of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) and the Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Energy will meet to decide the exact date of inundation of the highly disputed Sivand Dam, constructed in the historic site of Bolaghi Valley.


Located close to the world heritage site of Pasargadae in Fars province, Bolaghi Valley is filled with ancient relics, which all the architectural remains will be lost forever including the Achaemenid place and a section of Imperial Road, while many believe that there are still more to unearth in this ancient site.  


Taha Hashemi.jpg (22392 bytes)

 Taha Hashemi

Last season of archaeological excavations at Bolaghi Valley recently had to come to an end while some archaeologists persist that the time needs to be extended further.


According to Taha Hashemi, the cleric director of ICHTO’s Research Centre, after the outcomes of different excavation seasons were studied, it was decided to wrap up archaeological excavations of Bolaghi Valley even though the date of inundation of Sivand Dam has not yet been determined.


Already postponed several times due to pressure from Iranians and international communities, the final date of Sivand Dam inauguration will be announced after the said meeting next week.


The Islamic republic Ministry of Energy, which is in charge of dam constructions in Iran, had previously announced that inundation of Sivand Dam will not take place without ICHTO’s approval. Now it is up to the ICHTO authorities to determine the best time to inaugurate the Dam.


Hashemi also said that the upcoming meeting would review some previous agreements reached between the two organisations.


Taha Hashemi Toghroljerdi, the deputy president of ICHTO and the director of ICHTO Research Centre is a politician and former editor of the conservative Persian-language daily "Entekhab". 


He is an influential cleric, protégé and close aid to Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic. Hashemi, who is cleric with no knowledge or expertise in the fields of history and archaeology, ironically was appointed as the director of Iran's archaeological research centre, an organisation that is responsible for protection of Iranian heritage - and according to Persian-daily Didar, and not so surprisingly, he is one of the strong supporters of inundation of Sivand dam.


The Islamic in Tehran sees the Iran's pre-Islamic heritage as a formidable enemy of its existence. It aims at turning Iran into a pure form of an Islamic nation. Therefore, the regime's leaders have waged a war on Iranian antiquities in the hope of suppressing Iranian pride and nationalism.


Since 1980s and rise of the Islamic fundamentalism to power, the cleric's zealots have tried many times to cleanse the pre-Islamic Iranian heritage in the name of construction. First, Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic declared war against the national Iranian New Year or 'Nowruz', and then they began attacking other Iranian traditions and customs. At the beginning of the revolution, Islamic zealots rushed to the site of the Persepolis, the magnificent ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid dynasty's king of kings. Fortunately, the total bulldozing of the relics of the Palaces was averted by Iranians who wished to preserve their heritage.


In their latest attempt in the war of destruction, the Islamic Republic has been insidiously planning to obliterate some of the most cherished places in Iranian history. They intend to eradicate the Bolaghi Valley with its 137 pre-Islamic archaeological sites.





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