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CAIS NEWS ©

Latest Archeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World

 

Islamic Republic's Oil Companies Hindering Protection of Kharg Historical Sites: Official 

 

11 June 2008

 

 

LONDON, (CAIS) -- The director of the Kharg (Khark) Cultural Heritage Centre believes that oil companies’ strict run by the Islamic Republic oversight of the Persian Gulf Island is hampering cultural officials’ efforts to safeguard Kharg Island’s historical sites. 

“The regulations are so strict that people, and particularly cultural officials, encounter problems when they want to travel to the island,” Abdorreza Nasiri-Asl told the Persian service of CHN on Tuesday.

 

“Thus, the protection of the historical sites is not done comprehensively, and as a result, we see a terrible catastrophe like the destruction of the Achaemenid inscription of Kharg,” he added.

 

The Old-Persian cuneiform inscription, which has been engraved on a piece of uneven rock encrusted with coral, was vandalised by unknown persons on May 29.

 

The inscription was discovered during a road construction project in mid-November 2007.

 

“This was the worst news that could be heard about the inscription,” said Nasiri-Asl. “I hope the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) decides to enable cultural officials to do their best to protect the historical sites.”

 

Last week, Bushehr Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (BCHTHD) Director Ahmad Dashti said that Kharg Island is owned by NIOC and the company does not provide even a span of earth to BCHTHD to set up a guardhouse for the protection of the historical sites.

 

All these remarks raise an important question: How was the important inscription vandalised when such strict regulations are allegedly enforced by the oil companies working on Kharg Island?

 

The 1979 revolution transformed the the clerics known as Mullahs and their families into commercial pashas. The National Iranian Oil Company, National Iranian Gas Company, offshore companies in charge of selling oil or making contracts with foreign firms are in the hands of the ruling clerics, their offspring (known as Āqāzādegān) and their relatives. 

 

Recently a Tehran-based Shahab News reported that the chief auditing office of the parliament (Majlis) has revealed that close to $35 billion of oil income from the financial year 2006-07 is missing, which appears to be the biggest case of corruption in Iran and perhaps in the Middle East.

 

 

 

 

 

Extracted From/Source:   Mehr News [*] and edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav

  

 

 

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