Trump is clear manifestation of cultural terrorism, Iranian envoy says Tourism Desk

February 3, 2020 - 10:19

TEHRAN – Tehran’s ambassador to Rome Hamid Bayat has said that U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to target cultural sites in Iran is “a clear manifestation of global cultural terrorism.”

“The United States president’s (recent) threat to destroy Iran’s cultural and historical sites is a clear manifestation of global cultural terrorism and is in continuation of the violation of law by the United States to break the Iranian people’s resistance.”

The envoy made the remarks in the Italian capital on Friday during a cultural meeting with a number of international historians, orientalists and cultural heritage experts, IRNA reported.

On the one hand, the U.S. administration is committing economic terrorism through explicitly targeting sources of food and medicine supply for the people of Iran and, on the other hand, it is launching military and cultural threats, Bayat added.

Paying respect to cultural sites is [in fact] paying respect to human dignity and, on the contrary, attacking historical and cultural sites is attacking humanity, history, and the spirit of mankind, he emphasized.

In another part of his remarks, the Iranian ambassador pointed to the time-soaked cultural relations between Iran and Italy, saying that the richness and deeply-rooted-in-time culture and civilizations of the two nations, has led in many cases to [a kind of] cultural diplomacy through promotion of mutual understanding aimed at strengthening peace and friendship between the two nations and their governments.

In January, Trump said on Twitter that his military would strike “very important” targets related to Iran if the Iranians attempted to take retaliatory action against the U.S. for the assassination of senior military commander Qassem Soleimani in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on January 3.

This is while the Geneva Convention Protocol 1 bans “any acts of hostility directed against the historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in reaction to the threat said such a move would be filed as a war crime and another breach of international law.

Trump’s threats also provoked criticism by some international celebrities and social media users that deliberately attacking cultural sites would be a war crime.

Ryan Goodman, a former special counsel at the U.S. Department of Defense emphasized that targeting “the clearly-recognized historic monuments, works of art or places of worship” was a war crime.

Colin Kahl, former deputy assistant to President Barack Obama and national security adviser to ex-vice president Joe Biden said that “the Pentagon would not provide Trump targeting options that include Iranian cultural sites.”

John G Hertzler, an actor, and an author, reacted by saying that the American people “are not” behind Trump in response to a Twitterer, who said he backed the president.

Eugene Gu, a politically active user on social media, said “the President of the United States should never threaten on Twitter or anywhere else to target another country’s non-military cultural sites.”

Oscar-winning American actor and film narrator Morgan Freeman also lashed out at Trump for threatening to target Iranian cultural sites, stressing that Trump was not his president.

“Targeting cultural sites is a WAR CRIME and makes you no better than the terror you claim to be fighting,” Freeman wrote in a tweet.

Iran embraces hundreds of historical sites such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 22 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

AFM/MG

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