Iran Plans on Destroying
Tomb of King Cyrus, Friend of the Jews
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.
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
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.
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.
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Ricardo E. Nuñez. All Rights Reserved.
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