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TEHRAN —Tehran metro line 6 is among the four finalists at International Tunneling and Underground Space Association (ITA) Tunneling Awards 2017 in the category of ‘major project of the year’.

Tehran metro line 6 is vying against three other major project of Confederation LRT Line in Canada, Delhi Metro Phase 3 Expansion of networks, and Qatar Rail Metro. The winner will receive a 500-million-euro award.  

Launched in 2015 by the International Tunneling and Underground Space Association, the first two editions of the ITA Tunneling Awards gathered more than 450 attendees and 200 candidacies. 

A few months before the event, the judges have examined the submitted candidacies and selected a list of finalists for each of 9 categories.

The 17-strong expert judging panel, chaired by the ITA President Tarcisio Celestino, has concluded its deliberation and based on the detailed evaluation, 30 entries have been chosen as finalists and will participate in the second evaluation stage to determine winners.
From November 13 to 16, the leading international specialists in tunneling industry will gather in Paris for the French Tunneling and Underground Space Association (AFTES) Congress and on November 15, a one-day event, is dedicated to the presentation of the finalists’ projects followed by a banquet and the award ceremony: the ITA Tunneling Awards.


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TEHRAN — A blast occurred on Saturday night in a coal mine in northern Iran, leaving one dead and another injured.

The explosion rocked Kardar Mine in Chamestan county, Mazandaran province, at around 10:01 p.m. local time, ISNA quoted Pir Hossein Kolivand, head of Emergency Medical Services Organization as saying. 

The incident injured a 22-year-old anonymous afghan national and another 21-year-old worker, he said, adding that both were immediately transferred to the hospital. But, the afghan national died of severe injury later in the hospital.

In a like fatal incident on May 3 a large explosion struck Zemestanyurt coal mine located about 14km outside the town of Azadshahr in Golestan, a province in northeastern Iran.

35 miners have lost their lives and scores of others were injured in the explosion. 


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TEHRAN – Iran has signed agreements with 13 neighboring countries with the aim of developing and reorganizing its medical tourism sector.

The state-run Tourism Holding Company, affiliated with the Social Security Organization, is to unveil this week a comprehensive plan, which will be implemented with the participation of 22 hospitals and over 200 physicians, specialists, and surgeons.

“We have already signed agreements with 13 regional countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Bahrain and Oman to facilitate travels to Iran for people who are in need of medical services,” ISNA quoted Gholamhossein Ebrahimbay-Salami, managing director of the Tourism Holding Company as saying.

“The scheme will involve 17 hospitals run by the Social Security Organization and five privately-owned ones. It will also hire some 40 renowned medical doctors as well,” the official added.

“The hospitals have already worked in the field of medical tourism and we are consulting with a number of others that are located in major cities of Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz and Rasht, as well as some border cities like Kermanshah, Zabul, and Zahedan,” Ebrahimbay-Salami said.

Elsewhere in his Remarks, the official referred to ‘weaknesses’ that has hampered the health tourism in the country. 

So far, the health tourism sector [in its literal meaning] has suffered from its theoretical weakness and its public discourse, as sometimes medical tourism is mistaken for health tourism or other associated aspects of tourism that are utilized for curative and wellness, and rehabilitation purposes, the official pointed out.

“In medical tourism, which is a subset of health tourism, the prescriptions, surgery operations and medical care are of high priority. While health tourism utilizes features such as hot springs, aroma therapeutics and salt caves, and the medical profession is not induced,” he clarified.

Due to the lack of such rankings in the country, the Tourism Holding Company is set to redefine medical tourism in the first step and track the other associated aspects later, Ebrahimbay-Salami added.

Patients from Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Persian Gulf littoral states constitute the largest number of travelers who visit Iran annually for medical services.

The Ministry of Health registered some 105,000 inbound patients over the past Iranian calendar year (March 2016-March 2017), ISNA quoted a tourism official as saying back in July.

Iran has launched extensive plans to bolster its tourism sector. Under its 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, the country is expecting to increase the number of tourism arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.


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Sacred Defense Museum on a landscaped site of 21 hectares in north-central Tehran is a gigantic war memorial with its collections concentrated heavily on the 1980-1988 Iran–Iraq war.

A total of seven halls lead through the history of the sacred defense in forensic detail. The Hall of Butterflies greets visitors on arrival, the place is dedicated to martyrs and victims of the war filled with personal belongings found on the various battlefields.

Outside, a patchwork of domestically-manufactured armaments such as rockets, tanks, and artillery pieces are on show. The complex has vast garden areas, water features and children’s play areas as well.

Sacred Defense Museum is equipped with a state-of-the-art visual system including projections and video walls, while audio recordings relevant to each period contributes to its charm.

Re-creation of liberation of the city of Khorramshahr by the means of virtual exhibits and video projections is amongst main features of the museum where stands a replica of the Khorramshahr mosque adorned with creamy and turquoise patterned tiles.

A strategic port city in western Iran, Khorramshahr fell into Iraqi hands on October 26, 1980. It recaptured by Iranian forces on May 24, 1982.

Under tourists’ eyes

The epic-scale museum may not be top on the list for travelers to Iran but according to some of its visitors it does offer something different in modern Iranian history.

Here is a select of comments that visitors to the museum have posted to TripAdvisor, one of the most popular travel websites in the world:

‘Totally under-rated and should be on your must do’

I can’t believe this War Museum is buried at page two of ‘Things To Do In Tehran’… It’s on par with Imperial War Museum in London. (PaulNZ from New Zealand; visited April 2017)

‘A must visit’

I coincidentally came across this museum and complex after walking out of the Shahid Haqqani subway station on my way to see the Tabiat Bridge. I was stunned by how big the complex was and the various different halls and attractions including the museum, garden, library and mosque.

The museum was one of the best I have seen across the world. It was modern, diverse and extremely informative… (Zamy2016 from the UK; visited May 2017)

‘Insight into the Iran-Iraq war from Iranian point of view’

Very interesting museum about Islamic Revolution and following Iraq-Iran war. Completely modern full of current technology to give you insight in to the war and feelings of common people of Iran during that time. (Jindrich A. from Czech Republic; visited January 2017)

‘A brand new park and a high tech museum’

Accessible via Hemat and Haqani metro stations. A great opportunity to see 21th century Iranian architecture and learn about 1980s Iran-Iraq war. (Arsalan A. from the New Zealand; visited October 2016)

PHOTO: Rockets, tanks, and artillery pieces are on show at the Sacred Defense Museum in Tehran


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A horseback rider shows off his equestrianism skills during a competition as musicians perform pieces of local music in Sanandaj, Kurdistan province, on August 4, 2017. Watched by hundreds of spectators, the competition was held in various sections for men and women.

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TEHRAN — Iran came in fourth at the 29th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI 2017) which was held in Tehran from July 28 to August 4.

Iran’s team finished in fourth place after Japan, China, and Russia with one gold medal and three silver medals, Mehr news agency reported. 

Seyed Mohammad Hossein Nematollahi, Arash Mahmoudian Bidgoli, Mohammad Saneian, and Hamidreza Hedayati were the four Iranian students taking the fourth place at the competition. 

Each participating country was represented by a team of up to four contestants. However, as Iran was acting as the host to the event it took part in the Olympiad with two teams the second of which took the 11th place. 

The Japanese team members, with three gold medals, received the most points in this contest. Yuta Takaya, from Japan, was placed first in IOI 2017. He is a four time champion of the IOI. He has also recently placed first at the International Mathematics Olympiad.

The IOI is an annual international competition for high school students from various invited countries, accompanied by social and cultural programmers. This year some 300 students from 84 countries from around the world participated in the event.

As IOI 2017 came to an official close on Friday, Iran passed the IOI flag to Japan, the new host for IOI 2018.

Professor Krassimir Manev, President of the IOI, thanked Iran for its excellent hosting and wished Japan success in hosting the next year’s contest.


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