Beijing envoy slams Trump for threatening Iran’s cultural sites, saying they belong to all humanity

January 7, 2020 - 19:29

TEHRAN – China’s ambassador to Iran has censured U.S. President Donald Trump for threatening to launch attacks on Iran’s cultural sites, saying the Iranian cultural heritage belongs to the entire global community.

“World cultural heritage belongs to all humanity!” Chang Hua wrote in a tweet which was decorated with pictures of notable historical monuments in Iran, Press TV reported.

Posted on Sunday, the tweet came a day after Trump said he would hit 52 Iranian targets, including very important cultural sites if Iran decides to retaliate an assassination ordered by the U.S. president of a senior Iranian military commander last week.

Trump’s threats on Iranian cultural sites sparked widespread criticism inside the United States and even caused U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to claim on Sunday that the president would not make such a move in case of an escalation with Iran, the report said.

However, Trump himself defended the threats when asked about the issue on Sunday and said he had meant them.

Trump has claimed that the U.S. military would hit “very important” targets related to Iran.

This comes as Trump’s administration has endorsed a United Nations Security Council resolution in 2017 which bans any use of military force to target cultural sites. Such actions are also strongly prohibited under the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property.

The threats came in response to statements by Iran that the country would take harsh revenge against the United States for the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of Iran’s elite Quds military force, an incident that took place last week in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Iranian authorities also summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran on Sunday to relay the country’s note of protest to Washington, which is not directly represented in Iran, over Trump’s threats on Iran’s cultural sites.

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.