Uproar over Trump's threat against Iran cultural sites: A look at some of the national treasures

(Clockwise from top left) Persepolis in south-west Iran, Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, the citadel of Bam and the Si-o-se-pol bridge over the Zayandeh Rud river in Isfahan. PHOTOS: AFP, AP

PARIS - Both Iran and the United States must observe a convention obliging states to preserve cultural sites, the United Nation's cultural agency said on Monday (Jan 6), after US President Donald Trump threatened to target Iran's cultural heritage, AFP reported.

Unesco director general Audrey Azoulay highlighted that both Teheran and Washington had signed a 1972 convention prohibiting states from taking "any deliberate measures which might damage directly or indirectly the cultural and natural heritage" of other states.

At a meeting with the Iranian ambassador to the Paris-based organisation, Azoulay said that both countries had signed a 1954 convention for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict, Unesco said.

Azoulay "stressed the universality of cultural and natural heritage as vectors of peace and dialogue between peoples, which the international community has a duty to protect and preserve for future generations".

Here are some of the sites that could be targeted:


Persepolis is a Unesco World Heritage Site. PHOTO: AP

The most outstanding site is considered by many to be the ancient Achaemenidian capital of Persepolis in south-west Iran, founded by Darius I in 518 BC, and a major attraction for foreign tourists.

The monumental complex is a major attraction for foreign tourists with its marble palaces and temples.


Naqsh-e Jahan Square was constructed between 1598 and 1629. PHOTO: AFP

Also known as Imam Square, it is a square situated at the centre of Isfahan. Constructed between 1598 and 1629.


Golestan Palace is one of the oldest historic monuments in Teheran. PHOTO: AP

One of the oldest historic monuments in Teheran, the palace belongs to a group of royal buildings and gardens built in the 18th and 19th centuries.


The citadel of Bam is the largest adobe building in the world. PHOTO: AFP

This is the largest adobe building in the world, located in Bam, a city in south-eastern Iran. The origin of this enormous citadel on the Silk Road can be traced back to the Achaemenid Empire and even beyond.


A photo taken on Nov 10, 2019, shows Iranian president Hassan Rouhani delivering a speech to a crowd in the central city of Yazd. PHOTO: AFP

The city is the capital of Yazd Province, south-east of Esfahan. Because of generations of adaptations to its desert surroundings, Yazd has unique Persian architecture, and is also one of the largest cities built almost entirely out of adobe.


The Shah Cheragh Shrine is the tomb of Seyed Amir Ahmad, the brother of Imam Reza who was Iran's eighth imam. It is a holy shrine and an important place of pilgrimage. PHOTO: AMIN BAGHERI

This mausoleum's name translates as "King of the Light" as its interior is entirely covered in intricate geometric designs of mirrored mosaic tile, creating a cosmic lightshow.


Established in 1606 and also known as the Church of the Saintly Sisters, this cathedral is located in the New Julfa district of Isfahan.

It is commonly referred to as the Vank, which means "monastery" or "convent" in the Armenian language.


The Si-o-se-pol bridge over the Zayandeh Rud river in Isfahan. PHOTO: AFP

The long, covered bridges of Iran's former capital, mostly built during the 17th century, have fascinated visitors from around the world.

They are feats of engineering but also pure functionality, with one serving a dam and shaded meeting place.


Not the largest mosque in the city but one of the most ornate, since it was built for the royal court rather than the general public.

Its interior contains some of the finest tilework to be found anywhere in the world - testament to millions of hours of painstaking labour.


The largest mosque in the world, and one of the holiest sites in the holiest city in Iran, with over 25 million visitors a year.

The complex is one of the tourism centres in Iran and has been described as "the heart of the Shia Iran".


The traditional burial place of the biblical and Islamic prophet Daniel. PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The traditional burial place of the biblical and Islamic prophet Daniel. Various locations have been named for the site, but the tomb in Susa, Iran, is the most widely accepted.

The tomb was first chronicled in the 12th century and is still a popular pilgrimage site.


The Iranian city known historically as Gorgan/Hyrcania. The modern name, meaning "the tower of Kavus", is a reference to the most imposing ancient monument in the city.

It is the capital of Gonbad-e Kavus County, in the province of Golestan in north-east Iran.

Source: The Guardian, BBC, Wikipedia

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.