Iran News ...


8/1/07

Iran: ICHHTO Permitted Oil Exploration in Tchogha Zanbil

By Soudabeh Sadigh

Tehran, 31 July 2007 (CHN) - After getting the permission of ICHHTO, Iran's Ministry of Petroleum has completed its explosive activities in vicinity of Tchogha Zanbil world heritage site, located in Iranian Khuzestan province. According to head of Tchogha Zanbil's world heritage center, after conducting seismography tests in the region, some special routes have been introduced to Iran's Ministry of Petroleum. Based on this decision, oil exploration activities in the areas which may cause any harm to discovered historical sites is prohibited.
 
 
Prior to this ICHHTO announced that explosive and oil exploration activities in Tchogha Zanbil region which were started without getting the permission of this Organization have been stopped without explaining about the trend of Iran's Ministry of Petroleum activities in the area. Then a team was dispatched to the region for conducting seismography tests. Yet, ICHHTO has neither given any explanation for the negative potential effects of oil exploration activities in the region.
 
Today, in a talk with CHN, Mohammad Hassan Talebian, head of Tchogha Zanbil's world heritage center explained about finishing of seismography tests in the area and issuing the permission for resuming oil exploration activities by ICHHTO.     
 
Although, Talebian has not given further information about the amount of explosive materials used in each explosive activity, by announcing 2 kilogram explosive materials in each activity, a number of experts of ICHHTO have expressed their concern about the negative effects of these activities on historical sites of the region.
 
Anyway, according to cultural heritage experts, Iran's Ministry of Petroleum has currently stopped its exploration activities in vicinity of Tchogha Zanbil ziggurat and is carrying out oil exploration activities in northern parts of Khuzestan province.
 
In addition to its negative effect on archeological sites of the region, experts believe that the entry of oil technology to this region will deal a blow to the ecosystem of this untamed area. However, Iran's Environment Organization has shown no response to this event so far.
 
 The historical site of Tchgha Zanbil was registered in UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1979. Tchogha Zanbil's ziggurat is the only surviving ziggurat in Iran and is one of the most important remaining evidence of the Elamite Kingdom (3400-550 BC). The site is currently undergoing restoration by the cooperation of Japanese and UNESCO experts.
 
Seismographic Tests to be Performed on Tchogha Zanbil

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