The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(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.
“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,”
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
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
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.
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