Following the news of the release of new areas for mining exploration, the society expressed its concern to the government about the new mining activities in Touran and Miandasht and published the response for public awareness. In the image, the extensive overlap of the new area with the last viable habitat of the cheetah in Iran can be seen. The green area indicates the border of the Touran Biosphere Reserve and the red line is the area released in the cadastre system of the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade with an area of about 16 thousand square kilometers. An area that practically includes all points of cheetah observation in Touran.
In the follow-up, we learned that the Office of Habitats and Protected Areas Affairs, which is responsible for issuing mining permits in the Department of Environment, had considered this announcement illegal and had also reflected the violation to the judiciary. In a recent meeting with the director general of this office, we also received a letter from the judiciary to the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade regarding these areas. In this letter, which cannot be published publicly for legal reasons, the judiciary has warned the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade that if it repeats violations of regulations by not issuing permits in protected areas, this will be considered a violation of government employees’ law and will face serious confrontation by the judicial system.