January 6, 2020
Founded in 1879, the Archaeological Institute of America is North America’s oldest and largest archaeological organization. It advocates for the preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage with over 200,000 members and 110 local societies in the United States, Canada, and overseas. The AIA condemns any intentional targeting of Iranian cultural heritage sites in unequivocal terms. The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Law of War Manual prohibit the intentional destruction of cultural heritage during armed conflict except in situations when targeting is imperative for a legitimate military goal. The AIA calls upon President Trump and the U.S. Department of Defense to protect civilians and cultural heritage in Iran, and to reaffirm that U.S. military forces will comply only with lawful military orders. The AIA stands with other professional societies concerned about the preservation of cultural heritage in Iran and has published a joint letter in The New York Times.
If you would like to contact your Congressional delegation and let them know that you do not support the President’s plan to target cultural sites for military activity, a template letter is available here.