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US President Donald Trump’s recent threat tweets to target 52 important sites – including cultural sites – in Iran is reckless, crime against humanity, and at the same time outrageous. Iran is one of the most important centers of human civilization. Any threatening Iran’s cultural heritage with 22 cultural properties listed on the World Heritage List, is outside all accepted international codes. The war and hostilities as well as imposed sanctions over the past century in West Asia have already caused irreparable damage to human and Iran’s cultural heritage.

Posing threat to targeting cultural centers is a clear violation of all internationally accepted protocols – including the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions and the 1954 Hague Convention. The USA has ratified both protocols on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict “The Society for Iranian archaeology” strongly, while denouncing the war and violence in general, condemns the infringement of international conventions on not targeting countries’ cultural heritage. The “Society for Iranian archaeology”, a non-governmental organization, firmly urges the international communities, UNESCO, academic institutions and especially the World Heritage organizations to respond quickly and take actions, against such threats.

Sepideh Maziar

Director of Society for Iranian Archaeology