Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced Friday that the country’s national zoo in Tehran’s Nabiri district had lost its name and the name of the capital’s zoo, in an apparent attempt to preserve its image as a modernist attraction.
“It was decided to rename the zoo in accordance with Islamic law and the will of the people of Iran,” Rouhani said in a statement.
Rouhani said the decision would be implemented in the coming days.
The announcement came two weeks after Rouhani, a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), issued a decree saying that all public institutions in Iran would be required to change their names.
“All of the public institutions must change their name and be named in accordance to Islamic law,” Rouhani wrote.
The Iranian president’s decision was also an attempt to draw attention to the zoo’s history and its role in helping Iran’s indigenous wildlife and nature preserve its natural beauty, which Rouhani described as “our most precious asset.”
The zoo has been renamed the National Zoo in honor of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the last leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.
In the 1990s, the park was one of the most successful in Iran, with a zoo population of 2,000 animals and more than 20,000 species.
The zoo also featured the most endangered animal in the world: the tiger, which is still hunted in the wild.
The tiger was the only creature to survive the Islamic Revolution and its brutal crackdown, which ended the reign of the monarchy.
Rouhani’s decision came as many in Iran are angry over the recent closure of the zoo.
The Nabi Zoo was set up in 1955 as part of an effort to provide visitors with a glimpse of Iran.
The park was opened in 1962 and hosted more than 3,000 exotic animals, including tigers, lions, rhinos, bears, leopards and other animals.
It has also featured some of the world’s most famous animals, such as elephants and tigers.
The Islamic Republic’s parliament approved the park’s closure last year, saying that the zoo had not yet fulfilled its responsibilities.
“The National Zoo is a symbol of national unity, culture, and heritage,” the parliament said in its ruling.
The parliament also said that the Nabi Zoological Gardens, which the zoo has operated for nearly a century, was “disowned by the government.”
The park closed in February 2018, with the park in a state of total disrepair.
The fate of the park, which has been in Iran for more than 50 years, remains unknown.
“I think the decision of the parliament is wrong,” said Hamid Reza, the deputy director of the Iranian Museum of Nature and Science, which runs the zoo and is known for its exhibitions of rare animals.
“There’s a lot of cultural and scientific work that goes on in the park.
Reza said the museum’s efforts to revive the zoo were not related to Rouhani’s change of name. “
If the government really wants to preserve the zoo, it should work with us to get it reopened.”
Reza said the museum’s efforts to revive the zoo were not related to Rouhani’s change of name.
“He did not make any effort to get the zoo reopened,” he said.
“His decision was made by the parliament.”
The National Zoo, which was built by the Nizam of Qom, was officially named after Khomeinein, the third ruler of the country who ruled Iran from 1879 to 1924.
He was the last monarch to rule in the Islamic Republic.
Iran’s ruling clerics often have an interest in preserving historical sites and landmarks in Iran.
But the park has not had a single exhibit since it was closed in 2018.
“This decision is not a reflection of a decision by Rouhani, who was elected in 2017,” Reza told The Associated Press.
“No one has made a decision to open the park since then.”