Miankaleh: Under siege by hunters, arsonists, and Islamic Republic officials

by Mahtab Divsalar —26 March 2022

Miankaleh Wildlife Sanctuary and Wetland is located on a small peninsula by the same name in the Gulf of Gorgan at the southeastern end of the Caspian Sea.

Miankaleh Peninsula was known only to locals until it became a tourist destination in the mid-1990s. In the early days, those who took a trip to Gorgan Bay to visit Miankaleh Island would notice that everything was pristine and clean.

Miankaleh features coastal dunes, pomegranate shrubs, birds like herons, whooper swans, and pelicans, and mammals like the Caspian seal. Visiting Miankaleh feels like entering a fictional realm.

This realm has changed, however, and the clock is ticking for this small paradise. Tourists, hunters, arsonists, builders, and Islamic Republic officials have all discovered and laid claim to this beautiful island.

Even Ibrahim Raisi, the eighth president of the Islamic Republic, has now traveled to Miankaleh.

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