Djulfa Desecration Announcement Angered US

The demolished Armenian stone-crosses in Djulfa

Armenia’s decision on December 15, 2005 to announce the savage desecration of Armenian monuments by Azeri Armed Forces in Djulfa raised “serious questions” with US officials in Armenia at the time, according to a confidential cable made public by Wikilieaks.

U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Armenia at the time, Anthony Godfrey, rushed to complain to the State Department and questioned the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s decision to reveal the desecration at a time when prospects for a breakthrough on Karabakh peace were high following a visit by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairmen to the region.

They also questioned then foreign minister Vartan Oskanian’s decision to release the information about the Azeri attacks on Djulfa monuments on the sidelines of a press conference that was to sum up the “positive” visit by the Co-chairmen.

Calling the foreign ministry’s information “third hand,” Godfrey sounded the alarm that the revelation could anger Baku.

“The first announcement [about the Djulfa incident] on December 15 came in the form of an early afternoon press release from Armenia’s Embassy in Tehran. The MFA distributed the release to journalists later the same day on the margins of Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s press conference summing up the December 14-15 visit of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” explains the cable.

“On a day filled with upbeat news about prospects for a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the MFA’s decision to circulate third-hand reports in an official, strongly-worded press release is likely to anger nationalist elements in Armenia and spur a response from counterparts in Baku,” commented Godfrey in the confidential cable.

It took the US a full three months before responding to the destruction of historic monuments in Djulfa.

In March, 2006, Asbarez reported that then Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza responded to reporters’ questions by describing the destruction as a “tragedy,” and noting that–”it’s awful what happened in Julfa. But the United States cannot take steps to stop it as it is happening on foreign soil. We continually raise this issue at meetings with Azeri officials. We are hopeful that the guilty will justly be punished. We are hopeful that in no other state of the region such things will happen again–as there are great historic monumen’s in the Caucasus and–frankly speaking–in all three states they are endangered.”

It seems, seven years later, Godfrey’s concerns have not dissipated, because the US has yet to take decisive action on the desecration of Armenian monuments in Djulfa, Nakhichevan at the hands of the Azeri Army.

Learn more about the destruction of the 1,300-year-old historic Armenian cemetery in Djulfa, watch the independent film “The New Tears of Araxes.”

View a timeline of the U.S. and international response to the destruction of Djulfa.


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  1. Hagop D said:

    To me, the Azeris do not have enough money nor will they ever have, to repay the crimes they committed. The only “payment” I might deem acceptable is the complete destruction of Azerbaijan, and even that is not enough.

  2. Djulfa said:

    Hmmmm, This is interesting and the very strange instead of condemning the Taliban like ‎vandalism of a historic side by criminals in Baku, US is angered by the news and facts being ‎made public ! ‎

  3. Krikor said:

    I wonder if Mr.Anthony would say the same thing if someone desecrated or tore up the declaration of independence of USA. WAAH…what an… ah.

  4. Peter Megerdumian said:

    What else do you expect from those rapist Azeri Mongol savages. Borat +hitler =Azeri people.

  5. MK said:

    Its abundantly clear that US foreign policy is hand in glove with the Azeri/Turkish axis,no wander they haven’t lifted a finger to date regarding the Djulfa desecration.

    US will sell us down the river at any given time,never to be trusted,they are trying to buy us with their aid,so lets be aware of it and not fall in the trap.

  6. Christo said:

    This is an amusing story, of how the state department is pouring salt over our wounds.
    This week we listened to davoutoglu announcing that “willing to share his pain, with the SELECT few Armenians, and now this absurd story of how the US state department was angered by this barbaric act of the azeri’s.”
    Well I guess they watched some amusing and amazing live footage sent back by a RQ170 drone. It seems the state department wasn’t angered by the destruction of the Khachkars, but by the mere fact that the story was going to be revealed “On a day filled with upbeat news of prospects of a resolution…”
    These people at the state department are pathetic!

  7. Viguen Krikoryan said:

    The time is comming… Long live free and independent Artsakh. Long live the Armenian people. Long live the true believers of justice.

  8. AraK said:

    BS declaration of Turk lover Bryza and usual double standards of the state dept!

  9. Fred said:

    Why don’t the Americans take their heads out of Turkish and Azery ass for just a few seconds. Just long enough to make them realise what they are actually doing. I meat it is pathetic. They stink of Turkish and Azery all over. Almost makes me puke looking at America.

  10. Armo7 said:

    Why have Armenians kept their mouths shut about this? Where is the outrage? The Azeris made international news the other day with yet another made up story that Armenians massacred them and we just sat there and took it. We have a huge disapora that doesn’t do enough. If these nobodies were able to raise so much news over a fake story – it makes me wonder if us Armenians are doing enough. If these were Jewish monuments – the world would know by now.

  11. Aram said:

    The only Friend and ally and brethren of Armenia is Russia which is the Crown of Orthodox Christianity. God bless them.Americans love muslim Turks and Azeris; they would even prefer Vahabi Saudis and would do nothing to stop If slaughter of Middle Eastern Christians occur.

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