Report: Trump Doubles Down On Threat To Destroy Iranian Cultural Sites
President Donald Trump doubled down on his threat to attack Iranian cultural sites if Iran decides to retaliate for the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, one of Iran’s most prominent military figures, according to NBC News.
Trump made a threat via Twitter on Saturday to attack 52 targets if Iran retaliates. Those targets would be “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture,” he said.
Facing backlash, Trump said while returning to Washington from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida: “They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our peole. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their culture sites. It doesn’t work that way.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the suggestion that the U.S. military would target cultural sites a “war crime.”
Protocol I of the Geneva Convention prohibits the targeting of “historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural of spiritual heritage of peoples,” while also prohibiting making such sites the “object of reprisal.”
However, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. would uphold the law with any strikes. “The American people should know that we have prepared for this, that we are ready, that our responses are lawful, and that the president will take every action necessary to respond should Iran decide to escalate.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to introduce a War Powers Resolution this week to limit the president’s military actions regarding Iran.
Iraq’s Parliament voted to expel U.S. troops from the country, prompting Trump to respond, “we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
“If there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq,” Trump said.