Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi has denounced the desecration of a revered site belonging to a Shia Muslim figure, urging international action to safeguard religious sanctities.
According to reports by online media, militants in Syria have raided the mausoleum of Hujr ibn Adi in the Damascus suburb of Adra, and transferred his remains to an unknown location.
In separate letters to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, the Iranian top diplomat condemned the destruction of the mausoleum.
Salehi called on international organizations and bodies to condemn the inhumane and unethical act and take practical and serious measures to restore the dignity of the site.
He also underlined the need for respecting holy sites in divine religions, particularly in Islam.
He warned that such acts could ignite the fire of religious rifts among followers of the divine religions, urging the international organizations to take measures to safeguard the holy sites in Islam and Christianity.
Salehi condemned any act of violence against religions and stressed that respect for religious sanctities is the only way to maintain peaceful coexistence among different religions.
Hujr -- a close companion of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and a loyal supporter of the first Shia Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (PBUH) -- led the army of Muslims to victory in several crucial battles.
He and his sons were killed upon the order of the Umayyad Caliph Muawiyah in the year 660 CE.