Academic groups on Monday condemned dangers by President Trump to attack Iranian cultural sites. Trump stated over the weekend that his administration had actually determined 52 Iranian sites, a few of importance to “Iranian culture,” to target for attacks in case Iran retaliates for the killing of Major General Qassim Suleimani last Friday in an American drone strike. Targeting cultural websites could be a war crime under worldwide laws, however Trump has actually doubled down on the threat, as The New York City Times reported
” On behalf of more than 50,000 scholars and researchers in the humanities and social sciences, our academic and expert societies hire individuals throughout the U.S. and, certainly, around the globe to remind the President of the United States that targeting cultural sites for military activity is a war criminal offense other than under the narrowest of scenarios, and can not be validated under any scenarios,” states a joint declaration from 11 scholarly groups, which otherwise represent anthropologists, archaeologists and literary scholars.
” Cultural sites at threat of damage or destruction by military activity are irreplaceable and result in a loss to civilization, history, and human understanding,” the declaration added. “The U.S. Department of Defense has actually gone to extraordinary lengths to coordinate with well-informed experts over the previous 2 decades to safeguard cultural websites in the area. This evident turnaround of strategy is misguided, short-sighted, and will just serve to enrage the Iranian people, for whom the President himself has actually proclaimed his individual adoration.”
The statement was signed by the American Anthropological Association, the Archaeological Institute of America, the Coalition for American Heritage, the Society for American Archaeology, the Society for Applied Sociology, the Modern Language Association, the Penn Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Pennsylvania, the Society for Scriptural Literature, the Society for Classical Research Studies, the Medieval Academy of America and the Society of Architectural Historians. The Archaeological Institute of America likewise released its own different declaration on the matter, and the Society for American Archaeology sent a letter to Trump opposing the targeting of cultural sites.