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CAIS NEWS©

ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS OF THE IRANIAN WORLD

 

Sivand Dam, and New Challenges for the Islamic Republic on the Way of Destruction of Iranian Heritage

 

07 February 2007

 

 

 

LONDON, (CAIS) -- Today a large number of demonstrators gathered outside Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Energy, to voice their objections against inundation of Sivand Dam and the destruction of pre-Islamic Iranian heritage sites in Fars province. 

 

With attendance of a representative of the Public Relations Department and some of the authorities of the Ministry who succeeded in calming down the angry crowd with promising them that the flooding of the dam will not be started until getting the formal permission of the President of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), protesters left the area for ICHTO’ headquarter to continue their objections.

 

The protesters however, were confronted with severe reaction from the Islamic Regime Revolutionary Guards who confiscated their cameras, and there are reports of number of protestors were arrested and taken away by the regime's security forces.

 

Placards in the crowd read: “Preserving cultural heritage is preserving the cultural values of a country”, “Protecting cultural heritage is as important as protecting the geographical borders of a country”, “With inundation of Sivand Dam what will be your answer to next generations?”, “Rescue historical sites in Sivand region”, “Save Pasargadae”, “With inundation of Sivand Dam, what will happen for Iran’s cultural heritage and ecosystem?”, “What a high cost for producing energy”, “What a pity, Iran is getting lost”, “Leave our heritage alone”, which was accompanied by some slogans, such as “Death to the destroyers of Iran’s heritage”.   

 

The outcome of the objections was that protesters succeeded in winning the approval of the counsellor of the President of ICHTO to hold a session with attendance of authorities of ICHTO, Islamic Republic’ Ministry of Energy, and NGOs to discuss the case in detail to reach to a conclusion about inundation of the dam. 

 

Dam construction by the Islamic Republic has become one of the nightmares of Iranian cultural heritage in the recent years. One of the most important examples of such is construction of Sivand Dam in Bolaghi Valley, in Fars province, which is an important archaeological site close to the world heritage site of Pasargadae. This issue created an unease situation for the Islamic regimes’ authorities, and raised many concerns and created rumours across the country saying that some anonymous groups have vowed to destroy the dam by explosives before becoming operational.

 

After the catastrophic 1979 Revolution in Iran and the establishment of totalitarian-theocratic regime, fundamentalists in power had immediately initiated the policy of de-Iranianisation of country, by replacing the notion of Iranian identity and nationality with Arabo-Islamic Identity. Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of this destructive force himself who claimed that Iranian revolution was not for Iran but for Islam, or that the observance and celebration of ‘Noruz’ and other Iranian national traditions and ceremonies to be anti-Islamic and anti-revolutionary, ordered his right-hand man and the revolution's best known executioner, Sheikh Sadeq Khalkhali embarked upon an ill-fated attempt to level down the remains of Persepolis. Had it not been for the bravery of people of Shiraz and locals, who laid down front of the bulldozers, Persepolis would have been lost forever. Now, almost 28 years after Khalkhali's pathetic attempt, the regime's official destruction of Iran's glorious testimony of its ancient civilisation seems to be once again underway.

 

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