Trump Threatens To Destroy Iran’s Culturally Significant Sites. That’s Considered A War Crime.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing from the White House on November 20, 2019. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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January 5, 2020 10:07 a.m.

On Saturday night, President Donald Trump threatened to destroy Iran’s sites of cultural significance amid his aggressive push for war in the region.

“Iran has been nothing but problems for many years,” Trump ranted via Twitter.

“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD,” he wrote.

Destroying a country’s sites of cultural significance is classified as a war crime by not only the United Nations and the Geneva Convention, but also by Trump’s own Department of Defense per section 5.18 in its Law of War Manual.

The U.S. is on the brink of a full-scale war with Iran after Trump authorized a drone strike on Iraq’s Baghdad International Airport last week to assassinate Qasem Soleimani, a top general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Trump insisted he ordered the assassination to “stop a war” and that he has a “deep respect for the Iranian people.”

Defense Secretary Mark Esper claimed on Friday that Soleimani “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”

“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” he said.

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