Lut Desert Added to World Heritage List

Lut Desert Added to World Heritage List
Lut Desert Added to World Heritage List

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted in favor of listing Lut Desert on the World Heritage List on Sunday, before the 40th session of the committee came to an abrupt end in Istanbul, Turkey.

The move raises the total number of world heritage sites in Iran to 21, following the inscription of the country’s ancient qanat system on Friday.

Iran has the highest number of world heritage sites in the Middle East.

The committee’s 40th session, which opened on July 10, was supposed to end on July 20 but a coup against the Turkish government led by a small military faction on Friday raised security concerns, which initially led to the organizers cancelling the committee’s meeting on Saturday.

It was later reported that the committee would hold its final session on Sunday and review as many proposals as possible, with the Iranian media quoting Mohammad Hassan Talebian, who is representing Iran at the UNESCO’s meeting in Istanbul, as saying that “the remaining dossiers will be reviewed in October” during the 200th session of the UNESCO Executive Board in Paris, France.

Lut Desert’s inscription is significant, because it is Iran’s first-ever natural heritage site on the coveted list.

Locally called Dasht-e Lut, it is a salt desert in northeastern Kerman Province and is the 25th largest desert in the world. It is also one of the hottest places on Earth and recorded the highest temperature ever measured on the planet in 2005: 70.7 degrees Celsius.

Last year, the historical city of Susa in Khuzestan Province and the ancient Meymand Village in Kerman Province were inscribed on the list.