“From our experience of the armed forces in the USA, they are generally respectful of culture and civilians where possible, and clear-headed about the nature of war. However, the very fact that a leader would make these threats is deeply disturbing and indicates a profound lack of understanding about what cultural heritage is all about. Attacking cultural sites is a war crime,” Dr Hilary Gopnik said.
“It is imperative that we as a global community support and defend our colleagues in Iran during this tense diplomatic time. We are working with Iranian archaeologists and historians to uncover and preserve some of the oldest landmarks and sites in history – many dating back to the Bronze Age.”
Dr Hilary Gopnik is a Near Eastern archaeologist who specialises in the study of Iron Age Iran. She currently works at the site of Pasargadae (capital of Cyrus the Great) which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran.