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Iran calls on UNESCO to safeguard Mideast heritage sites

28 January 2016 18:52


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on the UN cultural agency to make every effort to protect Middle East cultural heritage from Daesh terrorists operating mainly in Iraq and Syria.

In a Thursday meeting with Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Irina Georgieva Bokova in the French capital Paris, Rouhani expressed regret that the region’s ancient artifacts are being destroyed at the hands of terrorists, who seek to destroy the “identity of religions, cultures and thoughts.”

“All international bodies, UNESCO in particular, must do their utmost for protecting these valuable cultural and human works in the countries like Syria and Iraq,” Rouhani said.

He said that terrorist groups are seeking to cause a break-up between the younger generation and its history before recruiting youths.

The Iranian president hailed efforts by the UNESCO in protecting the world’s cultural heritage, calling on the UN cultural watchdog to exhaust its potentialities in fighting violence and preserving cultural heritage in the two countries.

Bokova, for her part, described the destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East as an organized movement and a tragedy for humanity, saying terrorists aim to cut cultural bonds between communities.

The Daesh terrorist organization has been carrying out gruesome acts, including destruction of heritage sites, public decapitations and crucifixions against many members of all communities and ethnic backgrounds, including Arabs, Kurds, Muslims and Christians in areas they have seized in both Syria and Iraq.

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