Iran: ICHHTO Permitted Oil Exploration in Tchogha Zanbil
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.
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