Mr Koichiro Matsuura
7 place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP
7 February 2007
Dear Mr Matsuura,
It is about two years since the ICSASPP, on behalf of thousands of supporters from all four corners of the globe, brought to UNESCO’s attention the flooding of the Sivand Dam in Iran which would ultimately drown the ancient Bolaghi Gorge and part of the Pasargad Plain, as well as endanger the Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great.
On many occasions, we have sent you open letters, as well as direct correspondence, informing you of the latest developments in the completion and flooding of this dam. Hundreds of people have also sent you e-mails, letters and faxes expressing their support for our Committee's cause. We are aware of the extent of such cultural and humanistic endeavours through receiving copies of such correspondence.
So far, it has seemed to us that you are reluctant to become directly involved in this matter due to the fact that the Bolaghi Gorge was not included in the sites surrounding Pasargad/Pasargadae when UNESCO registered it as a World Heritage Site in 2004. This is of course, in sharp contrast to the fact that, according to UNESCO's 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, all the signatories of the Convention are obliged to preserve their cultural heritage, even if such sites and artefacts are not registered as world cultural entities by UNESCO; and Iran is one of the signatories.
On many occasions, renowned experts and archaeologists have informed UNESCO, through written documents, of the imminent danger threatening the Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great. We have no doubt that you have already read such documents and heard reports concerning this possible catastrophe. Again, it seems that there has not been any reaction to these reports and news due to the fact that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has always denied such threats.
Nevertheless, very recently, the head of the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization, who is also a deputy of the President of the country, has agreed to the inauguration of the Sivand Dam by embarking on its flooding. At the same time he declared that: "The only remaining problem is the fact that, over time, the humidity caused by the dam will have its effect on Pasargad Plain and the Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great. It has been agreed that the Ministry of Energy should use certain special techniques to eliminate this problem."
In the light of such confessions, and through resorting to your legal and professional abilities for the preservation of humankind's cultural and archaeological heritage, you can strongly act and salvage one of the most important spiritual treasures of a nation – a treasure that now belongs to all humanity.
Thousands of people around the world are anxiously awaiting your prompt measures in this regard.
Thanking you in advance for the attention you will show to this urgent case,
Shokooh Mirzadegi (Mrs)