The newly appointed ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Russian Federation Kazem Jalali strongly criticized the recent threat by US President Donald Trump to target Iranian cultural sites.
The official said, "Our cultural heritage and civilization are everlasting symbols which have been engraved in the human heart".
Jalali, speaking on the sidelines of the ‘Iranian Cultural Night’ themed ‘The Mythical World of Shahnameh’, held at Moscow's major bookshop Biblio Globus, added, “Unfortunately, some, like US President Donald Trump, are promoting violent rhetoric around the world, declaring that they may even target Iranian cultural sites”.
He said the Iranian culture is deeply rooted in the minds of Iranologists and enthusiasts of human civilization and cannot be eliminated by any means, IRNA wrote.
Holding cultural nights in Moscow indicates that Iranians and Russians talk with the language of art and culture, Jalali said, adding that such an event is a clear response to Trump’s words of violence.
Although Ferdowsi is a Persian poet, he is widely known in other countries as a global cultural icon and that several artists have made attempts to paint his Shahnameh stories in pictures.
Russian graphic designer Sergey Feofanov also held a painting exhibition with the theme of Shahnameh at the event.
After assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani on January 3, US President Donald Trump wrote in a series of tweets that if Iran makes a move to avenge the top general’s assassination, the United States will "target 52 Iranian sites" and that some were "at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself".
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that targeting Iranian cultural sites would be a war crime.
Director General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay said in a meeting with Iranian Ambassador Ahmad Jalali on January 7 that the US is responsible to protect cultural heritage in possible hostility.
The official recalled the provisions of the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, two legal instruments ratified by both the United States and Iran.