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Iranian Heritage in the State of Disrepair, and ICHTO Prepared to Fund Renovation of Damaged Iraqi Monuments


25 February 2006



"Charity Begins at Home"



LONDON (CAIS - edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav) -- While Iranian monuments are being turned into cement, ancient cities being ploughed beyond recognition, its' renowned sites were threatened by illegal constructions, and desperately are in need of financial support to be salvaged from total destructions, ICHTO (Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization) has declared its readiness to provide funds for the renovation of Iraqi monuments damaged during recent bombings (tombs of tenth and eleventh Shia Imams al-Hadi and al-Hassan al-Askari, were badly damaged in bomb attacks in Iraq on February 22), Taha Hashemi the cleric and new director of the ICHTO Research Centre told the Persian service of CHN on Thursday.


Hashemi believes that Iranians' duty is to cooperate in the reconstruction process of the tombs, saying, “As Muslims, we must maintain our religious monuments, and to this end, the ICHTO plans to make use of all its facilities and experts”; whereas the authority's devotion and their first duty as Iranians should have been with Iran and safeguarding Iranian heritage.


For the ongoing reconstruction of the ancient city of Bam, and current archaeological salvage operation in Tang-e Bolaghi, Iranians had to seek financial aid from foreign countries. As the result of the Sivand dam construction, the regime's venture poses a great danger to the prehistoric and historical Iranian monuments in Fars province.


The dam will submerge not only Tang-e Bolaghi and section of of Achaemenid Imperial Road, but also poses a grave danger to Pasargadae and Persepolis, by creating an artificial lake, which generates an excessive level of humidity in the area, which consequently it could have a devastating and irreversible effect on their structural integrity. The extent of the damages are unknown and cannot be ascertained due to lack of funds. 


Currently in Iran, hundreds of archaeological and historical sites are in the verge of complete destruction, such as Sasanid Gondi-Shapour (right fig), Parthian Bardneshaned and Partho-Sasanind Ray, which could be lost forever as the result of negligence, surrounding factories, excessive framings and illegal excavations, and no measures have been taken to save them, yet again as the result of negligence and lack of funds.


It is quite peculiar that if Iranian national heritage would have been in Palestine, or called "Palestinian Heritage" or "Arab Heritage", without any doubt the regime and those who are in charge of ICHTO, not only they were queuing to sacrifice their lives, but also they would have utilized all the country's national resources in order to save and protect Palestinians' interests; -Therefore, the only plausible solution for now, to prevent Iran's national heritage to be destroyed, is to change the name of Iran to Palestine, and claim that Ancient Iranians were Palestinians.


Since 1980s and rise of the Islamic fundamentalism to power, the ruling cleric have tried many times to cleanse the pre-Islamic Iranian heritage. First, Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic declared war against the Iranian New Year or 'Nowruz', and then they began attacking other Iranian traditions and customs such as Chahar Shanbeh-Suri and Yalda.


At the beginning of the revolution, Muslim fundamentalists lead by Sadeg Khalkhali, who was one of the Khomeini's circle of disciples and was known for his antipathy towards pre-Islamic Iran, rushed to the historical site of Persepolis, to bulldoze it down. According an interview by Elaine Sciolino, Khalkhali came to Persepolis with "a band of thugs" and gave an angry speech demanding that "the faithful torch the silk-lined tent city and the grandstand that the Shah had built," but was driven off by stone-throwing local residents. Apparently the unsuccessful attempt for was sanctioned by Ayatollah Khomeini, himself.






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Related News: 

10 May 2002: Today Iran Threatens Ancient Iranian Landmark

24 May 2004: Ancient Firouzabad structures threatened

09 Jan 2005: Pasargadae Winged Figure: Victim of Cold, Fungi and Negligence

10 March 2005: Sasanid City Turned into Garbage Dump

19 May 2005: Smugglers Loot Ancient Site in Central Province

02 July 2005: Controversy Over Illegal Road Construction at Sasanian Hunting Ground Continues

04 July 2005: Concerns Over Illegal Road Construction Plan Over Ancient Bistun Site

20 July 2005: Qom's Awqaf (Endowments) Department and Destruction Ancient Qoli Darvish Teppe

25 July 2005: Ganj-Namé Inscriptions Under Threat

03 Aug 2005: Construction Activities Will Damage Masouleh Landscape

03 Sep 2005: Farmers Threaten Daqyanus Ancient Site

10 Sep 2005: Mazandaran Historical Sites, Victims of Alborz Dam

12 Sep 2005: Delegan Cemetery Plundered of its Heritage

12 Sep 2005: Hotel Construction is Destroying Ancient Zoroastrian Cemetery in Southern Iran

17 Sep 2005: Persepolis Erosion Worrisome

17 Sep 2005: Azadi (Shahyâd-e Âryâmehr) Towerin State of Disrepair

24 Sep 2005: Esfahan Metro Threatens Safavid Era Fountains

05 Oct 2005: World's First Academic City Under Threat

11 Oct 2005: Total Destruction of Gondi Shapur by Next Year

15 Oct 2005: Iranian Heritage is being Turned into Cement

15 Oct 2005: Ancient Delgan Infested With Plunderers

07 Nov 2005: A Parthian Chahar-Taqi in Jahrom on the verge of destruction

06 Dec 2005: Iran's Museums Short of Funds

07 Dec 2005: Explosion Rocks Bistun

11 Dec 2005: Burnt City Archaeological Base Ill-Equipped

22 Dec 2005: New Dams Threaten Iranian National Heritage

27 Dec 2005: Mine Explosions Destroying Sasanian ’Da va Dokhtar’ Fortress

17 Feb 2006: ICHTO Concerns About Sasanian ’Da va Dokhtar’ Fortress



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