The story of Bolaghi Gorge and inundation of Sivand Dam is still far from over due to refusal of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) to make a formal announcement on the date of Sivand Dam inauguration. This issue evoked strong opposition from cultural heritage enthusiasts and NGOs who are concerned with the fate of the historic site of Bolaghi Gorge, demanding Iranian authorities prevent flooding of the Dam.
The one-day conference on latest archeological achievements in Bolaghi Gorge was held on January 20, in Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran with the attendance of cultural heritage experts, archaeologists, and more than 40 cultural heritage NGOs.
Dr. Akbarian, president of social sciences of Tarbiat Modares University started the conference. It's wondering he didn't know the main subject of conference. He just knew that it's related to archeology. But we knew how much the conference important is.
In this conference, ICHTO was expected to present a comprehensive report on archaeological excavations in Bolaghi Gorge and make clear whether the time has arrived for inundation of Sivand Dam or not. However, due to unanimous objections raised by those who took part in the conference regarding inundation of Sivand Dam, representatives of ICHTO preferred not to make any announcement on the issue and wrapped up the session without any result.
After Dr. Akbarian , Hassan Fazeli Nashli (Neverf forget this name), director of Archaeology Research Centre started to speak about the main subject of conference and it's so interesting he spoke as a Islamic Republic's Energy ministry's indicator!!!! So strange why there's not any one as indicator of ministry of Energy!
After his speak one of participators asked him are you indicator of ministry of Energy? If you are director of Archaeology Research Centre why you spoke as an indicator of ministry of Energy?
And when other ones asked him this is a conference for make agreement to flooding sivand Dam. He rejects and said it's depending on ICHTO not us!
The majority of those who attended at the conference and also most of archeologists who work on Bolagy Gorge categorically protested against flooding of Sivand Dam, accompanied by placards to show their objections to inundation of the Dam. This is probably why the Iranian cultural heritage officials hesitated to make any announcements regarding date of Sivand Dam inauguration and left the session unfinished.
At the end, some prominent archaeologists who were involved in the Bolaghi Gorge archaeological salvation project talked about the importance of this project, its major achievements and the national and international feedbacks it received.
According to Dr Masoud Azarnoush, archaeologist and former director of ICHTO’s Archaeology Research Centre who was in charge of the first excavations in Bolaghi Gorge, the amount of work which has been done in the past three years in Bolaghi Gorge and the huge achievements in this historic site make this case unique in the history of Iran’s archaeology.
Sadegh Malek Shahmirzadi, another archaeologist at the conference said: “Until some 40 years ago, people did not show much interest toward archaeological sites and the issue of cultural heritage was somehow unknown but today we are witnessing such a large gathering with the presence of a large number of experts and NGOs who show great concern for preserving cultural heritage of Iran.”
Professor Abbas Alizadeh, archaeologist and former research associate in the Oriental Institute and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of University of Chicago, said: “I follow the news about Bolaghi Gorge both here in Iran and in the States. The Iranian opposition groups in America are trying to use the issue of Bolaghi Gorge to attain their political objectives. Therefore, this makes it absolutely important for the Iranian mass media to present the reality through pictures, films and reports.” He mentioned that all this worries is a politics game that other people who are treacherous and lived over seas made. One of participators mentioned we are living in Iran and we are not politic and treacherous the treacherous are the persons that want to flood our heritages.
Hassan Fazeli Nashli, director of Archaeology Research Centre of ICHTO spoke as a last speaker instead of Head of Pars-e Pasargad Research Foundation, Mohammad Hassan Talebian he said: "Archaeological excavations at Bolaghi Gorge have come to an end and the Research Centre is not planning to allocate further budget to this project. “Inundation of Sivand Dam has nothing to do with the Research Centre and the authorities of ICHTO are in charge of following the case."
When a person asked him how did you assess the affects of humidity upon the constructions at Pasargadae? He asked we have a team to research about humidity.
Based on previous agreements between ICHTO and Islamic Republic’ Ministry of Energy, inundation of Sivand Dam starts once archaeological excavations in Bolaghi Gorge are announced to have ended.
By the way Parviz Fatahi, the Islamic Republic's Energy Minister, on Thursday announced that by next week the Sivand dam will become operational, reported Persian service of ILNA.
According to Fathi, the Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), has finally agreed to the inundation of the dam.
It seems the Islamic Republic has coordinated the inundation of the dam, to coincide with “Daheh Fajr”, the anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Iran, in 1979. This day will undoubtedly will be remembered as one of the Iran's darkest days in history.
As one of my friends Said: We are responsible for the future and subsequent generations. It is our responsibility to preserve for our children and grandchildren what has been passed on to us by our ancestors. Can we rise to the occasion? Or will February once again add another shameful chapter to the history of Iran?