Illegal diggers arrested in northwest Iran

June 27, 2022 - 21:30

TEHRAN – Iranian police have recently arrested five illegal excavators in Tabriz, northwestern East Azarbaijan province, a senior police official in charge of protecting cultural heritage has announced.

The accused people were traced and finally arrested after police received reports from cultural heritage aficionados and local people about their misdeeds, CHTN quoted Kazem Dadashi as saying on Monday. 

Some digging tools were seized from the culprits, who were handed over to the judicial system for further investigation, the official added.

Soaked in history and culture for millennia, Tabriz embraces several historical and religious sites, including the Jameh Mosque of Tabriz and Arg of Tabriz, and UNESCO-registered Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex to name a few. The city became the capital of the Mongol Il-Khan Mahmud Gazan (1295–1304) and his successor. Timur (Tamerlane), a Turkic conqueror, took it in 1392. Some decades later the Kara Koyunlu Turkmen made it their capital, it was when the famous Blue Mosque was built in Tabriz.

The city retained its administrative status under the Safavid dynasty until 1548 when Shah Tahmasp I relocated his capital westward to Qazvin. During the next two centuries, Tabriz changed hands several times between Persia and Ottoman Empire. During World War I, the city was temporarily occupied by Turkish and then Soviet troops.

The ancient city was declared a world craft city of carpet weaving by the World Craft in 2016. It also bore the title of 2018 Islamic Tourism Capital.


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