Pasargad "safe and sound"? You must be joking!
Mirzadegi & Esmail Nooriala
September 5, 2005
We would like to write a few words about a letter
that has been posted on iranian.com [Safe & sound]
about the saga of Sivand Dam and the immanent submersion
of Iran’s historical sites once the dam becomes operational
in the coming spring. We already have translated these gentlemen’s
letter -- along with our response in Persian -- on the web-page
we have set up for this
Apart from the fact that this letter talks generally about the Pasargad
case, it directly aims to refute our petition that was posted 5 days
ago and so far (Monday afternoon) has attracted more than 4000 signatures,
beginning with that of Iranian.com’s editor.
It seems very strange
to us that these gentlemen have decided to emphatically shoulder
the flag of defending IRI’s irresponsible
action of building this dam without any prior planning for offsetting
the dangers posed by it to our historical heritage. They are employing
old tricks - such as referring to fake archeological stories -
to degrade the present debate, calling it a politically motivated
action. We actually wonder if their own position and stand in this
letter is void of such labels. In fact, by bluntly refuting the
possibility of any future damage to Pasargad site by the lake that
take shape behind the Sivand Dam, they are now partners in crime
with the Islamic republic, in whatever that happens in the future.
have purposefully posted all available information about the Sivand
case on our Pasargad site, including the very reports these gentlemen
are referring to, only to show the extent of discrepancies amongst
the articles posted by Iran’s Cultural Heritage News Agency.
We would like to invite everyone who has read these
letter to visit the CHN site and read the numerous articles posted
there by the Iranian experts and specialists listing the archeological
sites that will be lost forever once the dam becomes operational
submerging first the Bolaghi site and then penetrating towards Pasargad.
We would also like to quote only one short paragraph
from an article
written by John Vidal in the celebrated British
newspaper, The Guardian,
as early as December 23, 2004: “More than 100 of Iran's potentially
most important but least examined archaeological sites, including
fringes of Pasargadae, the city built by King Cyrus the Great, will
be flooded in the next two years according to the UN, which appealed
yesterday to international scientists to try to record what they
In the very days that our petition is gaining support
from four corners of the globe, including numerous archeologists,
(see the support
of School of Oriental and African Studies in London, as an example)
these gentlemen are writing to different e-magazines to off-set,
through their creation of baseless doubts, the tremendous response
and welcome that is pouring in.
This is not a light matter that could
be forgotten upon the assurances that these two seemingly naïve
gentlemen are giving us, acting as “archeologists”. What
we need is the opening up of the Sivand Dam’s governmental
files to see what has been going on during the past decade. I fact,
archeologists are not the proper
people to give opinion on these matters. We need the expert opinions
of all hydro-engineering experts, geologists, and preservationist
who have worked on other cases of erecting dams inside archeological
We should not forget that the idea of building the
Aswan Dam in Egypt of late 50s brought such an international fuss
government of Nasser was forced to seek International help to save
the Abu Simbel temple which was going to be submerged beneath the
waters of River Nile. You can read more about such threats at the
site of University of Colorado. We have also put links to this site
and other documents about Aswan dam on our Pasargad site too.
writers of this shallow letter pose a question too: “Instead
of having a multitude of committees run by amateurs with little or
no grasp of intricacies of Iranian history, why don't we have committees
to fund legitimate archaeological and historical research in Iran
by professional archaeologists and historians in order to enhance
our knowledge of our beloved country?”
We think that it is the
right of all “amateurs with little
or no grasp of intricacies of Iranian history” to ignore such
arrogant talks and emphatically ask for reliable proofs from reliable
sources. The tomb of Cyrus the Great is not an expendable commodity.
It is a unique historical site belonging to all human-rights-loving
nations of the world. At the same time, we would like to assure these
arrogant writers that “The International Committee for Saving
the Archeological sites of Pasargad” has no intention of raising
money. We are dealing with the minds and conscience of our people
and no money can buy into their soul.
Having vast financial resources
and budget surpluses of all kind, Iran does not need any money to
pay archeologists like these two
gentlemen to dig into the “intricacies” of its history.
Iran even does not need international monetary aid to preserve its
historical sites. It only needs women and men of dedicated conscious
who would do anything to preserve the historical post marks of their
identity. Iran has all the money needed for such endeavor. What is
lacking is good intention and knowledgeable intent.
We invite everybody
who has read the letter written by these two gentlemen to visit
Pasargad site and read the rest of this story,
told by so many different experts, for themselves. You owe this
to yourself, your childreen and your country.