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Experts Unable to Rescue the Best Preserved Sassanid Dam From Destruction


26 November 2006




LONDON, (CAIS - Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav) -- The new dam currently under construction by the Islamic Republic near Rāmhormoz in the southwestern province of Khuzestān will eventually devour 1700-year-old Jareh Dam, which is the best preserved dam from the time of Sasanian dynasty (224-651 CE), said the team of experts working on the site after announcing that the dam could not be relocated on Friday.


The site had been surveyed last May, and the team proposed that the ancient dam be relocated, but new studies show that will be impossible.


“We discussed the issue with Iranian and foreign experts and all of them believe that the use of cutting equipment will result in the collapse of the dam,” team director Mahnāz Sharifi said.


The dam was built using riverbed rounded stones and saruj, a mortar of cement and gypsum used in Sassanid dynastic era architecture, and will not be able to withstand the jolts of relocation operations.


In an imprudent and utterly nonsensical statement she added, "modern dams are decommissioned after 50 years. Thus, the Sassanid dam can be preserved under the sediment till the modern dam is decommissioned and the Jareh Dam will reappear."


According to the regime's timetable, the new dam is to become operational in the next few years.


The Jareh Dam is one of five Sasanian dams in the Rāmhormoz region and it is one of the most intact of the two surviving dams which is 20 meters in height.


Jarreh dam or the ancient Hormuz is another victim of cultural cleansing by the Islamic regime in Iran. 


In recent years the Islamic republic has stepped up cultural-cleansing of Iranian pre-Islamic heritage under the banner of development projects and religion. The regime has undermined and destroyed a number of major cultural landmarks associated with the ancient Iranian regimes, particularly the Achaemenid and Sasanian dynasties, to deprive the Iranian nation of their rich ancient heritage; they have also hopelessly tried to undermine Iranian traditions and celebrations such as Nowruz (Iranian New-year) and Chahr-Shanbeh Suri (čahār-šanbé sūrī, fire festival), which Iranians have celebrated for thousands of years. 


"They [the Islamic Republic] have been desperately trying to replace Iranian celebrations with Islamic ones, since they seized power. Last month they tried to pursue us [Iranians] to celebrate [Islamic celebration of] "Fitr", announcing three days holiday as an incentive - bribery - of course we took it and enjoyed every moment of it, but who they are kidding? - we know what is going on - they never be able to replace it with Nowruz or any other Iranian celebration for that matter", said Hossein, a 29 year-old Iranian visiting mausoleum of Master Ferdowsi, after his pilgrim to Imam Reza mausoleum, in Mashhad. 


He added, "before the revolution, the former regime mistook Westernisation with Modernisation - and this lot are mistaking Arabisation with Islamisation  - since when has anyone heard of exchanging one kilo of gold with one kilo of scrap-metal? Our cultural heritage is gold, and as the former regime was defeated by Iranian culture, this lot would follow suit."


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  Mausoleum of Master Ferdowsi and the newly erected electrical towers

(Click to enlarge)

The constructions of new dams in the vicinity or over the pre-Islamic sites, such as Sivand, Karun II and III, Sahand, Mullah Sadra and tens of other devastating dams in various parts of Iran; the construction of a petrochemical factory close to Bistun and the inscription of Darius the Great; mining operations around the Sasanian Qaleh Dokhatr, and Da va Dokhatar fortresses, which have already resulted in the destruction of a section of the latter fort; the construction of a highway in the Tāq-e Bostān and over the hunting ground of Khosrow Parviz the Sasanian king of kings; carrying out military exercises and countless numbers of explosions near Choghā Zanbil; issuing a permit to build a hotel and recreational facilities in the Elamite' site; and in recent weeks the erection of a series of high-voltage electrical towers behind of the mausoleum of Master Ferdowsi in Tus, all are in accordance with the cultural cleansing orchestrated by the fundamentalist regime.


"Erecting these masts imposing upon the mausoleum of Great Ferdowsi is an insult to all Iranians and Persian speaking peoples of the world", said a professor of Persian Literature from Mashhad University, who wished to remain anonymous. 


The historical figure of Ferdowsi and his great masterpiece, Shāhnāma (The Book of Kings), have always been the objects of abhorrence by the regime's prominent members, Hizbullahis and anti-Iranians in general.


The hatred of the extremist mullahs for the pre-Islamic Iran and nationalist-historical figures is such that they, like the Taliban of Afghanistan who destroyed the towering Buddhist sculptures at Bamiyan, intend not only to eradicate the ancient heritage, but even to erase all traces of its existence in that land.


In their determination to rid Iran of the pre-Islamic heritage and obliterate its very memory, the fundamentalists in power are prepared even to destroy the cultural heritage of their own country, which they appear not to realise they hold in trust for the future generations of Iranian peoples and humankind in general.





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