Iran is planning on submerging the tomb of King Cyrus (Coresh), the Persian King known for authorizing the Jewish exiles to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Holy Temple.
According to a report by Omedia, an Iranian organization is demanding that the International Criminal Court take action against those responsible.
The Iranian ayatollahs are planning on destroying the tomb as part of a general campaign to sever the Persian people from their non-Islamic heritage; Cyrus was thought to be a Zoroastrian and was one of the first rulers to enforce a policy of religious tolerance on his huge kingdom. Journalist Ran Porat quoted a young Iranian who said that the measures being taken by the Islamic Republic’s regime include the destruction of archaeological sites significant to this heritage.
“The government is in the final stages of constructing a dam in southern Iran that will submerge the archaeological sites of Pasargad and Persopolis – the ancient capital of the Persian Empire,” the report states. “The site, which is considered exceptional in terms of its archaeological wealth and historical importance, houses the tomb of the Persian King Cyrus.”
Cyrus, who lived from 576-530 BCE, liberated Babylonian Jewry from their exile in the famous Declaration of Cyrus (mentioned in the book of Ezra in both Hebrew and Aramaic).
A group of Iranian academics opposed to the regime’s policies founded a group called the Pasargad Heritage Foundation with hopes of getting the United Nations involved in protecting the historical site. Most recently, the foundation filed a petition with the International Criminal Court against the Iranian official in charge of maintaining the sites, charging him and his bureau with "crimes against humanity, due to the systematic state-sanctioned destruction of the culture of the ancient Iranian world and its historical heritage."
Though the city of Pasargad is a ruin, Cyrus’s Tomb has remained largely intact and it has been partially restored to counter its natural deterioration over the years.
Cyrus was praised in the Tanach (Isaiah 45:1-6), though he was also criticized for believing the false report of the Cuthites, who wanted to halt the building of the Second Temple. They accused the Jews of conspiring to rebel, so Cyrus in turn stopped the construction of the temple, which would not be completed until 516 BCE, during the reign of Darius the Great, the grandson of Queen Esther.
... and the response from CAIS:
Recent rumours over the alleged submergence of the Tomb of Cyrus the Great have been circulated on an international scale. The news has been confirmed as being bogus.
The pseudo-tellers of this story claimed that the Sivand Dam was blown-up, which was later confirmed as baseless. The tomb of Cyrus the Great situated behind the dam would never be under threat, since damage to the dam would cause a flooding away from the monument rather than towards it.
The perimeters of the future artificial lake behind the dam at its largest reach is 7 kilometres from Pasargadae site and 9 kilometres from Cyrus the Great’ Tomb located 45 meter above water level after inundation; -Persepolis is ten times farther than Pasargadae which is located 70 kilometres from the lake. Therefore, there are no threats to these two historical sites from submersion aspect of Dam’s inundation.
Nevertheless, the humidity changes, which artificially would be created by the dam, are going to be the key threat. No preliminary environmental research has been carried out to assess the affects of humidity upon the constructions at Pasargadae. Therefore, the extent of the future damages to the site remains unknown.
The catastrophe for Iranian heritage is that after the dam reservoir is filed, the Bolaghi Valley which contains well over 130 (according to some experts 147) ancient settlements from pre-Historic to Sasanian dynastic era will be submerged including a section of the Achaemenid Imperial’s Road (Rāh-e Šāhī) and the recently discovered Achaemenid palace denoted to Darius the Great.
Pasargadae and Persepolis historical sites have special places in Iranian hearts and minds, which are sacred as Kaba in Mecca for Muslims.
“The Tomb may not be the house of god [khāneh khodā, i.e. Ka'aba], but it is the house of our father and founder; we are today as a nation because of him [Cyrus the Great], and they [Islamic regime] should have respect that; I am a Muslim, but before that I am an Iranian and this place is dear to me, possibly more than Ka'aba – this is our Ka'aba - in fact this is our nation's most sacred place - they had no right to built a dam near his tomb”, was saying Mostafa a concerned and furious twenty-years-old Iranian visiting the monument.
"I like to see someone build a dam near al-Aqsa Mosque in Qods [Jerusalem], the regime would have sacrifice all Iranians to prevent that - they claim to be Iranian therefore they should care about us and our heritage, but instead the only thing that they care about is Palestinian and Arabs - this dam is an insult to our nation - if this dam resolves all the country's water problem, I prefer to die of thirst than see any danger comes to our Pasargadae", saying Masumeh another young-Iranian visiting Pasargadae.
Sivand dam project has been one of the most condemned projects in post-revolution Iran due to its' immense threat to Iranian cultural heritage. Most Iranians are furious about the construction of the dam and argue that there is no objective in the world worthy to justify the construction of a dam, so close to Pasargadae.