52 Sites of Iranian Culture and World Heritage

The Pink Mosque, Shiraz, Iran. Credit: Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji

The United States assassinated Iranian General Suleimani, arguably the second most powerful man in Iran, on 3rd January 2020. This was following weeks of escalating conflict between the US and Iran. The United States President, Donald Trump, tweeted on 4th January 2020 in response to Iran’s threats of retaliation that he would target:

“52 Iranian sites, some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” Donald Trump, Jan 4 2020

The next day, he reiterated

“They’re allowed to use roadside bombs…and we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site(s)? It doesn’t work that way.” Donald Trump, Jan 5 2020

By stating that Iranian Cultural sites were potential targets, Donald Trump intimated that he no longer cared for the favour of secular or expatriate Iranians. After all, the Islamic Regime is noteably hostile towards many Iranian Cultural sites. Those who will be most upset by Trump’s message will be those who might have previously supported him in any intervention leading to regime change in Iran.

The questions arises: Which sites of Iranian Culture are on Donald Trump’s list of 52?

Update 8th January 2020: Donald Trump has now removed his threat, stating “I like to obey the law”.

Number 1: Persepolis


Number 2: Naghsh-e Jahan (Map of the World) Square, Isfahan

Number 3: Cyrus Tomb in Pasargadae

Number 4: Golestan Palace in Tehran


Number 5: The Palace of Darius at Susa

“At Susa a very excellent (work) was ordered, a very excellent (work) was (brought to completion). May Ahuramazda protect me, and Hystaspes my father, and my country”. Darius I, 29 September 522 BCE — October 486 BCE

Number 6: The Poets’ tombs at Shiraz

“Through love, roses become thorns”. Hafez, 1345

“When in the eyes of the beloved riches count not, gold and dust are as one to thee”. Saadi, 1257

Number 7: The Grand Ali Qapu Palace of Isfahan

Number 8: The Amir Chakhmagh Complex of Yazd

Number 9: The Old Family homes of Kashan


Number 10: The Pink Mosque of Shiraz

Number 11: The Old Synagogues of Central Tehran

Number 12: The Garden of Paradise (Eram Garden) in Shiraz

Number 13: The Tomb of Avicenna, Hamedan

Number 14: Masouleh — the Rooftop Village on the Mountain, Gilan

Number 15: The many beautiful ancient bridges of Isfahan.

“Khaju is the culminating monument of Persian bridge architecture and one of the most interesting bridges extant … where the whole has rhythm and dignity and combines in the happiest consistency, utility, beauty, and recreation.” Arthur Pope (1881–1969)

Number 16: The Palace of 8 Heavens “Hasht Behesht”, Isfahan

Number 17: Tabiat “Nature” Bridge, Tehran


Number 18: Vakil Bath, Shiraz


Number 19: Emamzadeh Hassan Village, Jangal district

“Drink wine. This is life eternal. This is all that youth will give you. It is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends. Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” Omar Khayyam 1048–1131

Number 20: Vank Church in Isfahan

Number 21: The Azadi Tower in Tehran

Number 22: The Palace of Tachara

Number 23: The Ghare Kelisa in West Azerbaijan province


Number 24: The Dolat Abad Garden, Yazd

Number 25: The Bam Citadel

Number 26: The Palace of Ardashir, Shiraz


Number 27: The Niavaran Palace, Tehran

Number 28: The Emam Reza Shrine, Mashhad

Number 29: The Grand Bazaar, Tehran

Number 30: The Blue Mosque, Tabriz

Number 31: Gonbad-e Qabus tower, Gonbad-e Qabus

“It achieves an almost perfect balance between a purpose (princely glory beyond death), a form (cylindrical tower transformed into a star), and a single material (brick)” Oleg Grabar

Number 32: The masjed-e Jame of Isfahan

Number 33: The Soltaniyeh Dome

Number 34: The Firuzabad Ensemble and old Sassanid Art (224 CE–651)

Number 35: The Ancient Caravanserais of the desert, Khurasan-e Razavi, Isfahan and Yazd Provinces

These were checkpoints and a place for travellers to rest and keep their belongings safe. They were also a meeting point for travelers, merchants, scientists, and many other scholars who wanted to exchange knowledge and ideas, as well as discover new civilizations.

Number 36: The Taq-e Bostan “Arch of the Garden” rock reliefs, Kermanshah

“Art was characteristic of the Iranian people and the gift which they endowed the world with.” Arthur Pope 1881–1969

Number 37: The Collection of Historical Bridges, Lorestan Province

Number 38: The Ancient Soleymanieh Spring, Kashan

Number 39: The Historic Centre of Yazd

Number 40: The Chogha Zanbil, Khuzestan

Number 41: The Takht-e Soleyman (Fort of Solomon) fortification, West Azerbaijan province

Number 42: The Historic Bazaar of Tabriz

Number 43: The Behistun Inscription CliffKermanshah

Number 44: The Ancient Rocky Village of Meymand, Kerman

Number 45: The Burnt City “Shahre Sukhteh”, Sistan and Baluchistan province

Number 46: The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, The Island City of Shushtar


Number 47: The Castle of Alamut (The “Eagle’s Nest”), Qazvin

Number 48: The village of Dizin, Alborz Mountain range, Iran


Number 49: The Borujerdi House, Kashan


Number 50: The Qavam House and Naranjestan Garden, Shiraz


Number 51: Naghsh-e Rostam and Naghsh-e Rajab Necropolises


Number 52: The Chehel Sotoun Palace, Isfahan


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