The Iranian History 2004 AD

 


Oil Drills In National Parks

Jan, 2, 2004 AD

The Iranian Asiatic Cheetah is the world's last few known to have survived in Iran. Studies shows that the species are markedly distinct from their African relatives. If humans were not ignorant, these beautiful animals would not be called endangered.(Wikipedia) - On Jan, 2, 2004, natural gas and oil resources were discovered near the city of Aran va Bidgol. After three years of scientific study and exploration, crude petroleum was discovered at the depth of 3,964 meters in the Central Desert of Iran, also known as Dasht-e Kavir.
After injecting Chloric acid and Nitrogen a hole was created into the well creating access to gas and oil reserves.
Discovery of oil was not good news for Iran's natural environment because as it's the case, greed behind such projects overshadows studies of ecosystem and projects usually run without environmental evaluation report. Although obtaining a simple business permit for ordinary citizens requires the burden of passing Rostam's Seven Labours, certain elite circles practically have powers above the law.
Environmentalists warn about the fact that once saltwater is released in the region, another salt desert would be created, inflicting a heavy environmental disaster. Drills may have a catastrophic blow to conservation efforts to save unique endangered species such as the Asiatic Cheetah.
On Aug, 23, 2007 Deputy head of the Department of Environment for natural environment and biodiversity, Delavar Najafi, has called Oil Ministry’s move to conduct exploration activities in Kavir National Park as an environmental hazard.
Land-use change, persecution, habitat degradation, fragmentation, desertification, military maneuvers, rallies and races, off-take for commercial uses, poaching are among factors responsible for the chronic decline of wildlife, and they have effects as bad as direct killing of animals. According to the Iranian Department of Environment this degradation occurred mainly between 1988 and 1991.
Fortunately there is hope for the cheetahs thanks to a group of Iranian activists who have volunteered to preserve the nature despite difficult conditions. Only a few people are aware that endangered species are treasures of our world. It's a precious heritage that cannot be replaced and requires a continuous fight against ignorance. The Iranian Cheetah Society has been a successful example of such efforts. (Updated: Jan, 4, 2013)





Tehran Has A New International Airport

Feb, 1, 2004 AD

An Iran Air jetplane Taking Off from the runwayThe new Imam Khomeini International Airport was originally scheduled to be inaugurated in Ahmadabad, 40 km south of Tehran on Feb, 1, 2004.
In 1966 ICAO submitted a report covering a study of specifications of a future airport in Tehran. The current site was agreed upon in 1971 and purchase of land began in 1975. The original project was given to a consortium of U.S. designers and Farmanfarmayan called TAMS-AFA to carry out the construction with an estimated budget of $53 billion. After the 1979 revolution, the new airport project shared the same destiny of other big projects such as the nuclear power plants. They were viewed as Shah's great ambitions and were suspended.
In Dec, 1982, the airport project was taken off the shelves; a budget was allocated for resumption of construction. TAMS submitted a complaint with international courts that resulted in withdrawal of 14.5 million dollars from Iranian accounts. Three project managers changed between 1983 and 1986 but very little was done until 1989. Those were the years of Iran–Iraq War also called Sacred Defense. In 1990, Tehran International Airport was renamed as Imam Khomeini International Airport.
Revisions of the master plan continued until 1995 when a contract was finalized and developments began. Big projects in Iran have always had behind the scene of struggles among power cartels which usually lead to higher costs and delays. The initial opening ceremony scheduled for Feb, 2004 had to be re-scheduled to May, 8. Just a few hours after the opening, the Revolutionary Guards closed the airport expressing discontent with security issues associated with a Turkish firm running the ground services. As was the case with Turkcell, TAV was forced to withdraw and the airport reopened on May, 13. Revolutionary Guards have been in charge of operating the airport ever since.
As of Oct, 28, 2007, all international flights except Hajj pilgrims of Saudi Arabia were directed to IKIA. Imam Khomeini International Airport already has been subject to many sidelines and speculations. Iran agreed to pay $5.7 million in compensation to Turkey's TAV.
Some hostile countries such as Canada and U.K. asked their citizens not to use IKIA in a statement on Apr, 29, 2005 traditionally expressing their Occidental grudge against development in Iran.
In June, 2007, some of the airports customs personnel were charged as members of a smuggling ring. Investigations led to closure of IKIA's customs office for a while. On Dec, 15, 2007, a KLM Airbus crashed with a Lufthansa plane which caused no casualties but was recorded as IKIA's first accident.
IKIA's first phase is now operating well, with a capacity of more than 5 million passengers and 120,000 tons of cargo per year.
IKIA is equipped with the ILS (Instrument Landing System) since August 2009. The system was purchased seven years before but the selling firm refused to set it up due to sanctions against Iran. The ILS was installed by Iranian experts who have earned a great self-confidence through the years.
IKIA has obtained the international certificate of Integrated Management System (IMS). IMS includes OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001: 2004 and ISO 9001, which are issued for safety and professional hygiene, protecting the environment and the quality of management respectively.
Wireless internet access is available at the airport for free, a luxury for Iranians who normally have to pay high prices for a slow dial-up connection. The airport is going to be connected to Tehran's Metro in the near future, until then taxis charge $15 on average to transport passengers to Tehran (Updated: May, 4, 2009)





Iranian Plane Crashes In Emirates, Kills 43

Feb, 10, 2004 AD

Scenes from the Iranian Fokker-50 Kish Air Plane Crash in Sharjah, Emirates 2004 killing 38 people onboardAn Iranian plane crashed Tuesday as it approached Sharjah airport in the United Arab Emirates, killing 43 people aboard. The Kish Air Fokker-50, flying to Sharjah from the Iranian island of Kish in the Persian Gulf, crashed at 11:40 a.m. in an open area near the airport. Through the charred debris, only the tail and cockpit of the plane were recognizable. The Fokker-50 that crashed was 11 years old, according to the Dutch company which owns much of Fokker's assets. This one was newer than average passenger planes in Iran's ageing fleet. The plane was delivered to Kish Air in 2002.
Officials found a technical fault in the engine and said they had retrieved the plane's black box. Iran's aviation authority said in a statement that the plane had asked for an emergency landing as it was approaching Sharjah, then deviated to the left and crashed. Local police listed the victims by nationality as 19 Iranians including the six crew members, 12 Indians, four Egyptians, two Filipinos, two Algerians, a Syrian, a Chinese, a Nigerian and a Bangladeshi. The airline runs domestic and some short-haul international routes to and from Iran's Kish Island in the Persian Gulf. The UAE-Kish route is popular with immigrant workers in the UAE who need to renew visas.
In September, a Tu-154 belonging to Kish Air struck trees while making its approach at the Minsk airport. None of the 40 people aboard was hurt. Iranian aviation officials repeatedly asked the United States to lift sanctions on its airline industry so that they can provide spare parts for its civilian aircrafts at least. Kish Air's workforce consists of approximately 440 employees ...which are mostly retired Air Force experts.
Iran's aviation record has not been bright after the 1979 revolution partly because of lack of international standards also in terms of qualified personnel; in 1995, an Iranian flight attendant hijacked a Kish Air Boeing 707 to Israel during a flight from Tehran. The plane was returned to Tehran with 174 passengers and the crew.
Kish is an Iranian Gulf island which is run largely as a free trading zone but is also a popular resort with a reputation of being more liberal than mainland Iran. (Updated: Mar, 7, 2009)





Russia Trains 600 Iranian Nuclear Experts

Feb, 18, 2004 AD

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant under construction in 2005. Construction of the plant was started in 1975 by German companies, but the work was stopped in 1979.The work was delayed several years due to political pressure from the West.(AFP) Russia has trained 600 Iranian experts to work on the Islamic Republic's first nuclear power station, which Washington fears is being used to develop atomic weapons, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported Wednesday Feb 18, 2004.
An Iranian nuclear official told the agency that the experts had undergone training at the Novovoronezh center, 500 kilometres south of Moscow, which is to prepare some 700 specialists for work in the Bushehr Plant.
Russia has faced intense pressure over its construction of the Bushehr reactor from the United States, which fears that Iran could use fuel from the reactor for a weapons program, though Washington has toned down its criticism in the past several months.
"We still have doubts about the wisdom of Russia's work to build an atomic power station at Bushehr," Alexander Vershbow, the US ambassador in Moscow, said last week.
Russia, which has refused to abandon the 800-million-dollar project, provisionally plans to deliver fuel to Bushehr by mid 2005 and plans for the reactor to start operating a year later.
Hostile Western countries leaded by UK & US have used every opportunity to impose pressure, sanctions and embargo on the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1979, their unethical options includes threats of war, support for terrorist organizations, and assassination of Iranian scientists.
The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant started adding electricity to the national grid on Sep, 3, 2011 at 40% capacity, (Updated: Feb, 14, 2012)





320 Killed In Train Blast

Feb, 18, 2004 AD

Feb,  2004 : Photographs from the scenes of an Iranian runaway train derailed near Neishabour and exploded killing more than 400 peopleA 51-car train rolled out of a switchyard and eventually reached a speed of more than 140 km/hr before it derailed, caught fire and exploded, killing at least 320 people and injuring hundreds more near Neishabour. It's not been clear whether negligence or brake failure caused the accident. An iron wedge used to secure the wheels of the lead car was broken, and it was unclear if brakes on individual cars were working or not. As rescuers choking on fumes managed to extinguish flames that burned for nearly 24 hours, at least 460 people were found wounded.
The train loaded with cargo including gasoline, fertilizers, sulfur and cotton somehow started rolling from a station before dawn on Wednesday and continued on a downward slope going about 140 km/hr and traveled for 50 kilometers before hitting a sharp turn at the next station where, all but three cars jumped the track and caught fire. The wrecked train burned for more than five hours before the hazardous mix of its contents exploded, killing firefighters, rescue workers, spectators and people in nearby villages shook by the force of the blast which was so powerful that windows were shattered as far as ten kilometers away. In an apparent indication of the explosion's force, Iranian seismologists recorded a 3.6-magnitude tremor in the area at the moment of the blast. The dead also included top city officials ; including Neishabour's governor, mayor and fire chief as well as the head of the energy department and the director-general of the provincial railways who had all gone to the site of the accident. It's possible that the rescue officials and railway workers were aware of the train's potentially volatile cargo, which was en route from central Asian countries to Iran's southern port of Bandar Abbas.
Only some of the train cars caught fire on derailing but firefighters did not realize that the blaze had caused some of the other wagons carrying fuel and other cargo to heat up and explode creating a 25 meter deep crater. A team of experts was dispatched to determine health hazards from the fumes. Many area residents complained of severe sore throats from the smoking wreck. Police sealed about one square km area around the blast scene near Neishabour, a historical city home to 170,000 people about 645 km east of Tehran on the route to Mashhad.
The clay-home village of Dehnow, which was closest to the blast at about 500 meters away, was flattened and many villagers were believed to have been killed. The rest appeared to have been evacuated. Casualties also were found in Hashemabad, Taghizadeh Abdolabad and other nearby villages. Many of the buildings that collapsed in a Dec. 26 earthquake in Bam, in southeast Iran, also were clay structures. That tragedy killed more than 41,000 people.
In New York, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan conveyed his condolences to the Iranian government and victims of the disaster. (Updated: Mar, 7, 2009)





Seventh Parliament Elections

Feb, 20, 2004 AD

An Iranian police officer controls traffic in front of the parliament at Baharestan squareThe seventh parliament elections took place in an atmosphere of mistrust caused by many reformist candidates' disqualification from entering the elections. Thus, the outcome of these elections were prejudiced when on February 23, the ministry of Interior affairs announced the results. Allegations of election rigging undermined the legitimacy of the regime opening to debate the concept of republic and the true function of public in it. Throughout the years, under great pressure from outside world specially the industrial countries, and after colorful revolutions in ex Soviet states such as Ukraine, Iranians had to adopt a suspicious instance towards terms like democracy. (Updated: Dec, 25, 2008)





Tehran Monorail Project Started

Mar, 17, 2004 AD

Mashin Doodi (the fuming machine ) Rhagae Metro Station 2009(Wikipedia) - Despite overwhelming criticism of the project, a project to build the first phase of Tehran Monorail officially began on March 17, 2004. Phase one comprised of a 6 km line with six stations: Sadeghiyeh Square, Tehran Metro (Green line), Apadana Complex, West Tehran Bus Terminal, Azadi Square, Mehrabad Airport. Phase Two would include a loop back to Sadeghiyeh through Ekbatan Complex, and expand the line to 12 km.
In 2004, when the project was started by then Tehran Mayor, Ahmadinejad, it had not received the approval of the High Traffic Council; a body in charge of studying and approving transport plans. This resulted in the disqualification of the monorail from any state assistance. In 2007 provincial budget, a sum of 82 Billion Rials was dedicated to the completion for the Monorail by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration. The Monorail was not supported by Tehran mayor Ghalibaf, and the ex head of Tehran Metro, Mr. Hashemi, who wanted the Monorail budget to be allocated to expansion of Metro lines. This caused a row between the Ahmadinejad's government and Tehran Municipality for a while.
In September 2007, Iran Daily reported that the Tehran monorail project will become operational by 2011. This was quoted by the Deputy Interior Minister for development affairs. It further added that the monorail lines would extend across the capital, the Persian daily Iran Newspaper reported. He continued that the routes for monorail lines in the metropolis have been specified as follows: from Basij Square in the southeast to Tehran Pars in the northeast, from Tehran Pars to Pounak Square in the northwest, from Pounak to Nematabad in the south and from Nematabad to Basij Square again.
The concept of constructing a monorail in Iran was first proposed in 1976 before the Iranian Revolution. Then the mayor of Tehran, Shahrestani, eventually scrapped the project after repeated specialist consultations indicated that a monorail network would not ease traffic in the city in a significant fashion. At the time the general conclusion was that it would create more problems than solutions.
In 2002, Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared his intent to develop a monorail system for the capital despite the numerous warnings by transport and traffic experts. The monorail project was expected to cost 135 million Euros for 12 km and three stations.
The largest criticism of the project lay in its heavy costs on the already cash strapped Tehran City. Furthermore, a large part of criticism is directed towards the plan's geographical mapping. According to those who have had access to the initial sketch, the selected route is less crowded, making the project, in their view, unjustifiable. Among opponents of the Monorail plan was Ali Asghar Ardakanian, a member of the Transport Engineering Society who believed that Iran lacked the pre-requisite skills and knowledge to maintain and run the system. Ardakanian also insisted that the government plan was poorly thought out and failed to take into account the affiliated expenses for maintaining the monorail's underground and surface structures — thus creating funding forecast problems for the future. Additionally, relative to cost, critics point out that the passenger capacity of the monorail is 10 times less than the Tehran Metro.
Supporters of the Tehran Monorail were commonly heard declaring that the development of the project would be significantly faster than other transport project due to its nature.
The Tehran Monorail project was cancelled in April 2010, with only 3% completed. (Updated: Aug, 31, 2012)





British Navy Violates Iranian Territory

Jun, 21, 2004 AD

Iranian Army Divers by the Arvand River during the Iran Iraq War. These brave soldiers were front-line breakers that staged surprise attacks on enemy in most dangerous conditions. They paved the way for regular army units to operate.(Wikipedia) – The 2004 Iranian seizure of British Navy personnel took place in the Arvand Rood (Shatt Al Arab) waterway on 21 June. Six British Marines and two Navy sailors were captured. The British servicemen were seized while training Iraqi river patrol personnel after Iran said they had strayed into the Iranian side of the waterway. They were threatened with legal action initially but released three days later following diplomatic discussions between Jack Straw, the British Foreign Secretary, and Kamal Kharrazi, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
They British were released unharmed three days later, on 24 June, after the British and Iranian governments agreed there had been a misunderstanding.
Their weapons and equipment were confiscated and a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) was put on display in a museum in Tehran.
The British captives appeared blindfolded on Iranian TV, where they apologized for their mistake. The invading UK Navy boats were operating close to the northern coast of the Persian Gulf in the mouth of the Arvand Rood waterway which divides southern Iran and Iraq. The weather was bad causing negligible visibility which may have contributed to a potential crossing of the Iranian border by the UK Navy.
The British government consigned the incident to a misunderstanding and requested the return of the equipment.
British invasion of the Iranian territory has been recorded several times, here's a snap:
- On January, 27 2007 a British helicopter flew over the mouth of the Arvand River and violated Iran's airspace.
- On February, 27 2007, three British Navy boats entered the mouth of the Khor Musa in Iranian territorial waters.
- And on March, 23, 2007 15 British soldiers were seized in Iranian waters.
Iranians are the only nation with an independent navy in the Persian Gulf. Iran has the right to exercise her sovereignty against the greedy corporate bandits. (Updated: Mar, 1, 2012)





English-Persian Glossary

Latest Additions to Iranian History Chronicle: