UNESCO on Monday said that the U.S. has signed treaties committing it not to harm cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday stood by his threat to go after Iranian cultural sites, warning of a “major retaliation” if Iran strikes back for the killing of one of its top military commanders.
The UN cultural body said that under provisions of the 1954 and 1972 conventions – which have been ratified by both the U.S. and Iran.
The signatory states undertake not to take any deliberate measures which might damage cultural and natural heritage on the territory of other states party to those conventions.
Trump has listed 52 Iranian targets, including cultural sites that could be hit if Iran retaliates with attacks on Americans or U.S. assets.
General Esmail Ghaani, the new commander of the Quds Force, promised to “continue martyr Soleimani’s cause as firmly as before with the help of God, and in return for his martyrdom we aim to rid the region of America”.
Washington, however, blames Soleimani for attacks on U.S. forces and their allies.
Democratic critics of the Republican president have said Trump was reckless in authorising the strike while Republicans in the U.S. Congress have generally backed his move.