IRGC companies in dispute over environmental damage of Iran’s costliest dam

Business Materials 24 May 2016 12:40 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, May 24

By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

Dispute has erupted among subsidiary companies of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) as which one is responsible for the environmental hazards posed by the Gotvand Dam in southwestern Iran.

"We only carried the project out and are not responsible for designing the dam," Ebadollah Abdollahi, commander of IRGC's Khatam ul-Anbiya construction company told ILNA news agency May 24.

Khatam ul-Anbiya was formed as a construction company during the Iran-Iraq war, but lived on to grow into a large company to carry out mega projects in the years following the war.

The dam was built by SEPASAD, another subsidiary of the IRGC. The consultancy services were provided by Mahab Qods, partly owned by the Trusteeship of the Holy Razavi Shrine.

"This failed experience does not concern us.... If we hit a salt dome, it has to do with the design made by the consultancy company," Abdollahi stated.

Experts say Gotvand, which is the costliest dam yet built in Iran, has hit a salt dome and now the salinity is deadening farmlands in the agricultural hub of Khuzestan.

The dam was watered in 2011. Lawmakers in the parliament have also raised concern over the situation, paving the way for a series of academic research, which have suggested that the dam be razed.

The suggestion has been seconded by the Environment Department and the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Energy, though, has dismissed the idea.

It is believed that destroying the dam will not only mar the reputation of the engineering companies, but will open a way for taking legal action against them for the damage caused.