TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed sadness and sympathy over a major fire engulfing the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, which he called an “iconic monument dedicated to the worship of our one God”.

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“Saddened that Notre Dame—that iconic monument dedicated to the worship of our one God & that brought all of us closer through Hugo’s literary masterpiece—is partially destroyed after standing through wars & revolution for 800 yrs. Our thoughts are w/ the French & all Catholics,” Zarif tweeted on Tuesday.

A massive fire consumed Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday, gutting the roof of the Paris landmark and stunning France and the world, though firefighters saved the main bell towers and outer walls from collapse before bringing the blaze under control.

Flames that began in the early evening burst rapidly through the roof of the eight-centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which toppled, quickly followed by the entire roof.

The fire, after burning for about 8 hours, was largely extinguished by 0300 CET on Tuesday. Earlier, in addition to battling to prevent one of the main bell towers from collapsing, firefighters tried to rescue religious relics and priceless artwork. One firefighter was seriously injured – the only reported casualty.

“The worst has been avoided,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters at the scene shortly before midnight.

The cathedral’s main stone structure had escaped complete destruction by the time the fire came under control.