Update: U.S. Government Confirms It Will Not Target Iran’s Cultural Sites

January 8, 2020 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

The Apandana in Persepolis, Iran

photo by: iStock

On Monday, January 6, in response to Administration comments that suggested that it could be appropriate to target cultural heritage sites in Iran in retribution for attack on Americans and American assets by Iran, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and other groups nationwide joined together to urge the U.S. government to protect these irreplaceable sites. The public participated as well, with thousands of advocates signing the National Trust’s petition that asked the United States to avoid targeting Iran’s historically and culturally significant places.

On Monday evening, Defense Secretary Mike Esper clarified that the United States would “follow the laws of armed conflict” and would not target cultural sites. On Tuesday, the president also confirmed that the Administration would follow international law in this area.

With these recent developments, it appears that Iran’s cultural sites are not at immediate risk. We thank the many supporters who took action to signal that when we destroy culture anywhere, we destroy culture everywhere.

Join the movement to save and sustain historic African American places. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will help every American see themselves, their history, and their potential in our collective story and national cultural landscape.

Learn More